The arrival of a cold front in Rio de Janeiro, with rain, strong winds and a drop in temperature in recent days, has once again highlighted the risks for the homeless population in the state capital. In the next few days, the minimum in some parts of the city could be below 10ºC.
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Last Wednesday (28), councilor Reimont (PT) spoke with the municipal secretary of Social Assistance, Laura Carneiro, and with the mayor Eduardo Paes (PSD) to find out what actions the City of Rio has planned to assist the homeless population during cold days.
“One of the answers I received is that the shelters are functioning normally, but we know that this alone is not enough. Rio de Janeiro has many more people living on the sidewalks than there are spaces available in these places”, reported the councilor.
Reimont suggested opening the Sambódromo, in the central region of the city, as an emergency shelter, taking into account that a large part of the homeless population is in the center. “The cold kills, the city needs to prepare itself and offer assistance to the homeless population,” he added.
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In response to Brazil in fact, the Municipal Social Welfare Department stated that the Sambódromo houses schools and has no structure for the ministry’s work. The City Hall informed that since last Friday (23) it created 100 emergency vacancies in shelters in Taquara, Ilha do Governador and Paciência and placed two units of the network in the Center and in Laranjeiras open 24 hours a day.
“That morning (29) 275 approaches were made by the teams that circulated in 13 neighborhoods, and 33 people accepted; today (29) in the morning another 30 people also accepted. Today, the Warm Clothing Campaign was reopened, which the day before distributed 1 ton of winter items in City Hall shelters,” announced Secretary Laura Carneiro.
According to the City Hall, there are 7,200 people living on the streets today, but councilor Reimont’s advisors believe that this number could be much higher.
“The deficit of vacancies is five thousand and it continues. If we take the current number of vacancies, 2.2 thousand, and the numbers on the homeless population, which we believe is greater than 7,200, there are still five thousand vacancies left “, questioned the councilor.
Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro
Edition: Jaqueline Deister