SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Jan. 26 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Cáritas Diocesana de Tenerife has denounced that the current cold and rainy season that is hitting a large part of the province of Tenerife has once again highlighted the harsh reality faced by the group of homeless people.
Cáritas warns in a statement that this type of meteorological phenomenon has serious consequences for this group, a large part of which lives in ravines, poor or temporary infrastructure, or directly on the street.
Regarding this problem, the organization states that most of Tenerife’s municipalities have emergency plans that do not include this type of situation, which once again makes homeless people “invisible”.
For this reason, it understands that these municipal contingency plans should complete action protocols in the face of these emergencies, as Cáritas Diocesana de Tenerife proposed in the first Study on Extreme Residential Exclusion, published in April last year.
In said report, a total of 1,784 people were recorded in a situation of extreme residential exclusion on the island of Tenerife. Of these, 603 are homeless people who spend the night in public spaces outdoors; 470 stay in a hostel-type night resource, being forced to spend the day on the street; 226 people live in homes with an insecure tenure regime; 318 in temporary or self-constructed structures (shacks, caves, etc.) and 167 people live in dilapidated accommodation that is not suitable for living.
60% of the people who are in this situation of extreme residential exclusion have been homeless for more than a year. In addition, in 33.7% of the cases the person has been like this for more than three years. Homelessness has a greater presence in the metropolitan area, although it is a reality that affects the entire Island.
The work carried out by Cáritas Diocesana de Tenerife shows that people in situations of extreme residential exclusion are denied the exercise of their citizenship and are deprived of access to many of their basic rights, such as health care, housing, social protection , registration or neighborhood participation.
For this reason, the organization makes a series of concrete proposals to advance in a scenario of social reconstruction, which takes especially into account the homeless. Among them, there is the urgent need to set up spaces where homeless people can take refuge from meteorological adversities.
According to Cáritas, this is a need that becomes even more imperative as long as the sanitary restrictions imposed by the aforementioned covid-19 pandemic are maintained, since many public places where these people took refuge when it rained have been closed, such as municipal libraries or citizen centers.
From Cáritas Diocesana de Tenerife they remind us that housing is a Human Right, necessary to preserve the dignity of all people. “The circumstances that have arisen as a result of the global pandemic caused by covid-19 have relocated us to a new historical map, in which a much more fragile and vulnerable society emerges, bringing to light the reality of many people in a situation of exclusion. extreme residential area surviving in unhealthy and dignified places,” he says.