Diocesan Caritas has identified 2,738 people in a situation of extreme residential exclusion on the island of Tenerifein a study carried out in 2021, a number of people affected almost a thousand higher than the 1,784 in the second half of 2020, which was the first time that this field work was carried out, commissioned by the Council of Tenerife.
Homeless people increase in part due to the ability to identify extreme situations, with Caritas teams working on the ground, with more contact with people excluded from the right to decent housing and with more coordination with the administrations, explained Úrsula Peñate, who has directed this work.
People in extreme residential exclusion are those who unable to access or retain accommodation adequate and stable.
Its growth in Tenerife has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic covid-19which has limited access to some administrative, social and health services increasingly linked to technologies to which a large part of the population does not have easy access, according to this study.
Of these 2,738 people excluded from a residence, a large part, up to 37 percent live directly outdoors, but also in hostels or night accommodation centers (8.7 percent), where vacancies have less and less turnover because those who use them do not find alternative residences.
There is also 15.3 percent of those affected who live in some house but no longer live in theirs, because they have lost them either through evictions or for not being able to pay the rent, and another 15.8 percent stay in cabinsshacks, caravans or caves.
Caritas has identified that 73.9 percent of these people are menbut there are more and more women and they have gone from representing 20 percent in 2020 to 25 percent in 2021, and the trans group is also rising among the affected people.
By age, homeless men are on average 45 years old, in the case of women 35 years old, and have been identified 150 minors living with their familiesnormally single mothers, although with social services monitoring.
By municipalities, the Santa Cruz of Tenerife It is the one in which the most homeless people have been located, 953, followed by Arona, with 441, La Laguna, with 442, Adeje, with 166, Puerto de la Cruz, with 134 and Granadilla, with 128.
Caritas has detected in this study the persistence and chronification of homelessnesssince 62 percent of those affected have been homeless for more than a year and 32 percent for more than three years.
Unemployment, job insecurity, lack of public aid, exhaustion of unemployment benefits, exclusive requirements to access the real estate marketevictions and foreclosures, mental health and addictions are some of the reasons that those affected explain as the origin of their situation.
Almost six out of ten of the 2,738 affected are Spanish, but 77 nationalities have been identified. Behind the Spaniards, who are 57.5 percent, are the Moroccans (6.4 percent), the Senegalese (4.1 percent), the Venezuelans (4 percent), the Italians (3.7 percent) and the Germans (1.8 percent).
Overall, 71.4 percent are European and ten of the twenty nationalities with the most affected people are from the European Union.
These data indicate that the proliferation of homeless it is not linked to the arrival of people in small boats, explained Úrsula Peñate. The president of Council of TenerifePedro Martín, who was present at the presentation of the study, highlighted the importance of have a homeless diagnosiswhich did not exist until 2020, in order to be able to direct public policies.
He stressed that, as a consequence of this diagnosis, budget of 1.6 million euros planned for 2021, one million euros has been added this year.
Marián Franquet, Councilor for Social Action of the Cabildo, reviewed the actions of the corporation in the area and highlighted as a “pending subject” the coordination between public administrations, given the “complex competence distributions”.
The general secretary of Caritas in Tenerife, Ricardo Iglesias, stressed that all these people live deprived of fundamental rights recognized by the Spanish Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This study, said the Caritas representative, is a useful tool so that the Cabildo and the rest of the administrations face “this social scourge”.
Among other proposals, Ricardo Iglesias raised the need for there to be adiagnosis of the dwellings in each territorythat forced evictions cannot be carried out without a housing alternative, that provisional accommodation is available and that municipal emergency aid is not conditioned to minimum registration periods.