The number of homeless people increased by 37% over the last nine years in Barcelona: now an average of 941 people spends their nights on the streets. Most often they can be found in the Old Town, the districts of Eixample and Sants-Montjuic. This information is presented by a specialized foundation Arrels, which helps homeless men and women.
About 66% of people deprived of their homes are foreigners coming from 46 different countries. Mostly these are people from 25 to 49 years old, living on the streets for about four years. However, some of them did not have their place for 40 years and more, that is practically a whole life.
The sad statistics is not over yet: as both physical and mental health of the homeless is poor, about 19% of them need urgent medical help, and only a few has medical insurance. Also, vagrants are being attacked a lot: 37% of men and 47% of women suffer from physical or verbal abuse. Therefore, people deprived of shelter live on average 20 years less than those who have a roof over their heads.
Director of the Arreles Foundation Ferran Busquets believes that «if you do not stop the machine that generates poverty, these figures will increase annually». However, the general public is not in a hurry to raise the alarm: according to the polls, every fourth Barcelonian does not see a big problem that for someone Street is a home.