As many as seven homeless people have died in Bratislava during the current winter season. The number was reported by the civic association, Vagus, which works with the homeless. Vagus warns that the most critical period of the year is coming soon.
“The current situation is alarming; such a high number of people have never died over such a short period of time,” said Sergej Kára from Vagus as cited by the SITA newswire. “There is snow and temperatures are freezing not only during the night but also during the day while the coldest time of the year has yet to arrive.”
Vagus reports it has saved 10 people from death but it lacks money for its operation. Therefore, it has launched the campaign Voláme SOS. Through this people can contribute to their activities and help homeless people to survive the winter. For a contribution of €15 Vagus can provide a meal, clothing, hygiene and warmth for two people during one day at their Domec centre. A contribution of €35 will allow their rescue team to save a human life.
Its crisis team, Streetwork saves human lives throughout the year. During the winter they take people, whose lives are in danger, to doss houses. Annually they help more than 700 people.
Bratislava Mayor, Ivo Nesrovnal, responded to the Vagus’ call by saying that the city is annually increasing the money it allocates to aid for homeless people. This sum currently amounts to €0.5 million.
“We divide the money amongst several non-profit organisations,” said Nesrovnal, adding that Bratislava has the capacity for its homeless people. “There are places for those who do not want to be on the street.”
Bratislava city council is also ready to take additional measures, for example, to erect tents for the homeless.
Based on the historic first census of homeless people, that took place in Bratislava in 2016, there are more than 2,060 people without a home. However, non-governmental organisations working with the homeless estimate their number at between 4,000 and 5,000.
6. Dec 2017 at 17:42 | Compiled by Spectator staff