An Athens-based NGO has described a new type of homeless person thanks to Greece’s debt crisis.
They’re not immigrants, drug addicts or the mentally ill, the traditional causes of homelessness.
The 25 per cent increase since 2009 comes from 40-60 year-old Greeks who have lost jobs, businesses and homes and have no family to take care of them.
On Wednesday, the European parliament passed a resolution calling for the development of a pan-European strategy to combat homelessness.
“We must encourage more social housing. We must have homes for these groups of people because as we all know there’s been skyrocketing property prices and the quality of the current housing stock is deteriorating,” said Social Democrat MEP Pervenche Beres.
Italy, Spain and the UK are also reporting growing numbers of homeless people.
But homeless campaigners are more optimistic.
“In the last few decades, we have gathered quite a lot of knowledge about the intervention strategies that work, said Freek Spinnewijn from the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless.
“There are countries, in spite of the difficult context, that moved towards ending and solving homelessness. Finland for instance, which is pretty close to actually ending homelessness,” he added.