Homeless Persons

 

Homeless persons face the harsh reality of the streets on a daily basis, fighting to survive under the most difficult circumstances. Athens counts among the few cities which have taken swift action to deal with the issue and Greek society demonstrates its deep sense of solidarity at every opportunity.

The human being remains the steady point of reference, based on the belief that the homeless constitute a fertile source of creativity. We do not only care about the person who lives on the street. We are more concerned about the individual who may end up there. For this reason, we attempt to intervene in an effective manner before that individual reaches an absolute dead-end.

The homeless seek the warmth and care of which they have been deprived. Let them enter our thoughts and lives on a daily basis. We owe them this gesture of humanity and civility, at the very least.

Αims

The basic aim of the programmes planned and implemented by the City of Athens Homeless Foundation is to tackle problems faced by humans who, for whatever reason, are without shelter or whose home is unsafe and inadequate. It also seeks to develop mechanisms to prevent such phenomena and monitor cases of homeless individuals so as to ensure their eventual rehabilitation and social reintegration.

In carrying out its mission, the Homeless Foundation works together with agencies which share the same goals. Beyond the other services it offers, the Foundation collects and distributes food items, clothing, shoes etc to those who visit or are hosted at the shelter, as well as families and individuals located by its staff, other social services, parishes, volunteers and collaborating agencies.

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Meal Provision

KYADA provides 1,200 meals to destitute and homeless Greeks and foreign nationals on a daily basis. Meals are served twice a day (midday 12:00-13:00 and afternoon 18:00-19:00) at the Foundation's Meal Provision Centre, located at the junction of 70 Sofokleous and 35 Pireos streets.

Shelter

KYADA operates two hostels where it offers short-term accommodation (3-6 months) to 180 persons aged 18-65 years of age. Hostel services are free of charge and the same for all guests.

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Social Services Provisions

  • Intake Service
  • Counselling and information
  • Psycho-social support
  • Social-welfare coverage for hostel guests (issuing of pension and healthcare booklets, benefits and pensions etc)
  • Social rehabilitation (referrals to clinics, senior citizens homes etc) and reintegration
  • Distribution of clothing
  • Creation of mutual support teams

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Partnerships

  • Collaboration with Athens' largest hospitals (accompaniment of guests for medical testing and hospital care).
  • Cooperation with state and private agencies, aimed at the social and professional rehabilitation of the homeless.
  • Participation in training seminars within Greece and abroad.
  • Participation in the Greek network supporting the right to shelter.
  • Educational framework for students of relevant scientific disciplines.
 

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Activities

In its effort to raise awareness and promote citizen participation, the Homeless Foundation is focusing on the realization of specific actions. Initially, it is establishing cooperation with agencies which have similar organizational goals, such as the Church of Greece, the Hellenic Red Cross (EES), non-governmental organizations and the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Additionally, the Society of Friends of the Homeless Foundation is assisting in the formation of a volunteer network. A wide range of activities is carried out as part of a crisis management plan and street help services.

Finally, special advertising campaigns and a series of events are organized in an effort to fully inform citizens and meet the needs of the homeless.

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Society of Friends of the Homeless Foundation

The Society of Friends of the Homeless Foundation strives to contribute to efforts to assist homeless individuals located within City of Athens boundaries, raise public awareness of shelter, meal provision and clothing needs of the homeless and needy, and, generally, to find ways and means to solve these problems. Within the context of these activities, it seeks to develop all forms of action (social, educational, cultural) which publicise the problem (lectures, seminars, printed publications, cultural events etc) in an effort to raise community awareness.

Additionally, it cooperates with similar non-profit associations and bodies (state, private, scientific, church) in Greece and abroad. It creates work groups and seeks volunteers with the aim of establishing a special volunteer group comprising members who meet the specifications necessary for dealing with the delicate issue of homelessness. Finally, it strives to secure financial resources in order to carry out its work.

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Volunteers

The City of Athens Homeless Foundation has initiated a new volunteer programme open to all Athenian citizens which seeks to create a network that will aid and support its mission.

The volunteer programme for the homeless is based on the triptych: Homeless Foundation - Society of Friends of the Homeless Foundation - Volunteers.

The Homeless Foundation holds overall responsibility for planning and administrative support, while the Society of Friends of the Homeless Foundation plays a supportive role in terms of providing volunteers or financial resources.

The volunteers who participate in the programme play a significant role in the management of the homelessness problem. Teams of volunteers carry out street work in an effort to locate homeless persons and provide the foundation with detailed information. Some form part of special mobile units which regularly provide homeless individuals with meals, clothing, bedding, etc on the spot.

Alternatively, volunteers can choose to offer a little human warmth, a smile and company to our city's isolated residents. Some provide assistance to the homeless hostels or the municipality's Homeless Reception Centre.

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Athina - HOME Plan

KYADA has carried out a study for a crisis and extreme weather management plan. The plan was named "Athina - HOME".

The study sought to evaluate proposed solutions employed in countries with experience in the matter and document methods of dealing with homeless individuals during emergency situations, taking into account the existing conditions and capabilities of the city of Athens.

Reports and studies from various countries and cities were selected and evaluated.

The plan outlined proposals referring to specific circumstances in relation to Athens' homeless. More specifically, it foresees the establishment of more hostels, the provision of assistance on the street (involving mobile units), a link with the Municipal Health Clinic network, the creation of a Day Centre and shelter for homeless families, as well as the setup of an agency network to effectively deal with the homelessness problem.

Furthermore, it foresees the operation of a specialized call centre during crisis situations, the setup of emergency shelters and effective operation of the Foundation's volunteer network.

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Help on the street

As part of efforts to meet the needs of the homeless, KYADA operates mobile teams who offer street help.

The teams, which operate mostly during emergency situations (extreme weather conditions, etc), provide food, blankets and sleeping bags to those in need, as well as information on where the homeless can find shelter.

The teams are based on an international model and comprise or have direct contact with expert personnel (doctors, social workers, nurses etc).

The mobile units distribute assistance in the form of blankets, clothing, food, drink etc, which have been donated to the City of Athens or are reserved for such circumstances.

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Year of the Homeless

The City of Athens, in association with the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), declared 2007 the Year of the Homeless in an effort to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness.

 

The goal is to demonstrate that our social reflexes do function but also exhaust our reserves of humanity. A series of events took place and more are planned, proving yet again that Athens is an open city which does not accept marginalization.

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"Social Grocery"

As part of its mission to deal with the homelessness phenomenon, the Homeless Foundation is working together with a major shopping centre chain on a new initiative, namely "The Grocery of the Heart" or the "Social Grocery".

The institution, which operates successfully in France and Belgium, has been introduced to Greece, specifically, within City of Athens boundaries in a building administered by the Foundation.

The "Social Grocery" intends to offer job positions to homeless persons and, most importantly, allows needy families to purchase grocery items with a 90% discount on the retail price. Socially-disadvantaged groups will, therefore, have access to basic goods, and new jobs will be created.

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The "Home for the Homeless"

The Homeless Foundation has made plans for the establishment of a "Home for the Homeless". A multi-purpose site will be created, not only comprising bedrooms to host destitute and homeless persons but also recreational and dining areas, laundries and bathrooms so that it can facilitate the greatest possible number of citizens in need.

During emergency situations, the home will also operate as a temporary overnight shelter. It will also house the Foundation's Social Services.

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Contact

Athens City Hall
63A Athinas St, Kotzia Square, Athens 10552, Greece
Tel: +30 210 3722001
Administration Building
22 Liossion St, Athens 10438
Tel: 1595

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