With temperatures plummeting to around minus 10 in Hungary, one enterprising charity firm has introduced an initiative to help the homeless.
Although there are no official figures for the number of people living on the streets in Budapest, thousands use shelters and any available floor space for extra mattresses.
But the bigger problem remains convincing many more to come in off the streets if only for a few hours of warmth and sustenance according to the director of Shelter Foundation, Menhely Alapítvány
“We try to convince them (the homeless still on the streets) that it can save their lives if they come to a warm place and accept our help. Unfortunately the situation is that we can move very few people, even in this extremely cold weather,” said Zoltan Aknai.
To give extra help to the homeless, people can also hang up their unwanted coats.
Our correspondent says the idea, created by Hungarian artist Zsigmond Gerlóczy, has become so popular it has been replicated across the country.
“This small idea has spread nation-wide action, now there are more than 100 places like this in Hungary with a few thousand coats that already have new owners.. They will need it indeed as the extreme cold spell is set to continue for a few more days,” said Andrea Hajagos.
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