The number of homeless in Valencia is increasing, but the city will soon conduct a census to determine their exact number and living conditions.
For the second time, the City Council will conduct a comprehensive census of the homeless in Valencia, people living on the streets and in municipal hostels managed by various social care entities.
Isabel Lozano, Councillor for Social Services, recently announced this as a “important action that allows us to know exactly the number and living conditions of the homeless in Valencia, in order to create the appropriate strategies to improve their situation, with the ultimate goal of social and labour inclusion.”
The new census will be held on December 15th, from 19:30 to 1:30, with the goal of updating the data collected in 2019, when this initiative was first implemented. The census is intended to help public administration understand the true state of the problem and identify strategic lines of action.
It will be a massive event that will mobilise all of the city’s existing social service organisations. Up to 14 social entities (Accem, Bokatas, Caritas, Valencian Charity Association, Cepaim, Valencia Anti-AIDS Citizen Committee, Red Cross, Health and Community Foundation, Doctors del Món, Natania, Messengers of Peace, Urban Evangelical Mission, Rais Hogar S, and Sant Joan De Déu Social Services) will work with the Valencia City Council.
Lozano emphasised in her speech that “the city of Valencia’s commitment, through collaboration of the City Council and entities, has allowed for the improvement of social care resources.”
According to the councillor, the number of available spots for the homeless in Valencia has more than doubled since 2015. Lozano also highlighted the work of the SAUS, a Social Emergency Service that focuses on the most vulnerable people and whose funding will be increased soon.
Looking ahead, the City Council is already working on expanding care services for the homeless in the city, including the opening of five municipal flats managed by the CAST (15 places), the creation of independent housing resources (an endowment for the project’s drafting is included in the 2022 Budgets), and an increase in funding for SAUS.
The councillor concluded by saying that the reality of the homeless in Valencia “is very diverse, and it is not appropriate to simplify reality, given that ‘homelessness’ is a phenomenon that responds to a global socioeconomic context.”
According to some estimates, the number of homeless in Valencia increased significantly in the years preceding the health crisis, and the Pandemic exacerbated the situation. Ayuntamiento will need to make a significant financial commitment to solve this problem. Hopefully, this census will be the starting point for finding a solution.