62 percent of the homeless people in Athens are Greeks and 71 percent of them ended up on the streets in the last five years, a study shows.
The study results were presented by Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis on Monday. It was conducted by the City of Athens Homeless Shelter (KYADA) and was funded by the Norwegian government with the contribution of other European countries. It is part of a City of Athens program called “Fighting Poverty and Social Exclusion”. A total of 451 respondents participated in the study that lasted from March 2015 until March 2016. It is estimated that there are about 9,000 homeless people in Athens.
The findings show that 71 percent of the Greek capital’s homeless were forced to live on the streets in the past five years, the years of the economic crisis. One fifth (21.7 percent) of them ended up on the streets last year alone.
According to the study, 62 percent of homeless people in Athens are Greeks, with the vast majority of them being male (85.4 percent) and more than half (57 percent) are 35-55 years old.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said they were forced to live on the streets after losing their job. Twenty-nine percent said that they prefer to live on the streets instead of living in a homeless shelter or other organized hospitality facility.
The study also shows that almost half of the Athens homeless are substance users (41.2 percent), 7.3 percent are alcohol abusers and 2 percent use drugs and alcohol.
Kaminis said that in the one-year period, the solidarity program supported homeless people by helping distribute 46,156 supermarket food coupons worth almost 1.85 million euros to 8,996 beneficiaries in 3,724 families.