Diocesan Caritas of Tenerife has denounced the death of six homeless people (five men and one woman) who were cared for by the technical team of the project Mobile Street Service Units (UMAC) on the island of The Palm.
Through a statement, Diocesan Caritas of Tenerife has pointed out that as it has been reiterating in recent years with various public complaints and as the two studies on Extreme Residential Exclusion prepared by the Institution, there is an urgent need to make this serious problem visible given the lack of responses from public administrations, which, according to Cáritas, do not sufficiently protect the homeless.
The Mobile Street Service Unit develops its functions on La Palma since the end of 2017, where he initially defended a diagnosis on the group of homelessness on the Island, allowing demonstration and intervention since then with nearly 200 cases located and mostly accompanied humanely and technically by the project team, with the aim of carrying out an approach to this group, favoring their processes of social insertion or minimization of damages.
Since then, Cáritas Diocesana de Tenerife has had two day services for homeless people, one in Holy Cross of La Palma and another in Los Llanos de Aridane, used daily by between 15 and 25 people in extreme residential exclusion.
Specifically, the UMAC project last year attended a total of 179 people in a situation of homelessness according to the ETHOS scale (homelessness and inadequate housing). Among them were the six deceased people (five men and one woman), several of whom had health problems and were in a situation of extreme vulnerability.
Within the attention carried out by the UMAC in The Palm, in recent years two areas with the highest density of cases have been basically identified, subject to the existence of a higher population density and a centralization of resources on the Island, such as Santa Cruz de La Palma, with 33% of the cases. cases; and Los Llanos de Aridane, with 22% of people served.
However, after the pandemic and the volcanic eruption September 2021, not only has the number of cases increased, but the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane has positioned itself as the one with the highest density of people from this group attended by Cáritas, representing 32.4% of the total (58 cases ) of the Island, ahead of Santa Cruz de La Palma (54 cases).
In his latest report on Extreme Residential Exclusionpublished last July, Cáritas Diocesana de Tenerife notes that situations of extreme residential exclusion continue to grow in the province, with almost 1,000 more people than last year (2,738) on the island of Tenerife alone.
42.8% of the cases (1,173 people) are a direct consequence of the crisis caused by COVID19, while 56.2% (1,565 people) were already in this situation before. Thus, a chronification of these situations is observed, representing 62.9%, people who have been in extreme residential exclusion for more than a year and 32.5%, those who have been living for at least three years.
This report 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 participation local.
REAL PUBLIC POLICIES.
For this reason, from Cáritas they continue to demand the implementation of real public policies for access to decent housing for all citizens, prioritizing the most vulnerable groups.
In this line, the Institution proposes a series of measures at the regional and local level, among which are included the incorporation into municipal emergency plans of concrete measures to act and protect the group of homeless people in the face of weather adversities, whether due to rain, wind or extreme heat, as well as health crises, landslides, fires, etc.
Diocesan Caritas of TenerifeFinally, remember 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 the Covid-19 They 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 extreme residential exclusion surviving in unhealthy and dignified places”, the Institution points out.
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