Society 20:04 13/09/2019 Armenia

Number of homeless people grows in Armenia

As of September 2019, around 100 people live in the homeless shelter of the Armenian-Danish Kofoed Charitable Foundation, Director at the Foundation Shavarsh Khachatryan told Panorama.am. In his words, the number of people asking for shelter will grow in September as the cold season approaches. Homeless people aged 18-65 with a disability are accommodated at care centers through the assistance of the Foundation, while elderly aged above 65 - at elderly care homes. The number of homeless people has grown over the past years which is conditioned with poor social conditions and low wages of the people, Khachatryan said.

“In the most typical situation people are unable to take care of their family, sell their houses and leave the country to find a better life abroad. After a  refused citizenship they are back in the country where they face the problem of housing,” Khachatryan said.

Since 2014, the homeless shelter has operated through co-founding by state means. The state pays salaries of 28-member staff at the shelter, 2 meal times daily and utility fees, while the Danish charity foundation cares for clothes, the property and the equipment. Since 2018, the state allocations were curtailed and the Foundation itself reduced the funding as the agreement had been violated.

“Today, the Yerevan Municipality is our partner  and provides assistance since most of the homeless are from Yerevan,” said the director, pointing to the necessity to open similar shelters in Gyumri and Vanadzor with already high number of homeless in those cities as well.

The center accommodates only people aged 18 and above and no families. Residents may stay in the shelter up to three months, yet in certain cases they may live longer and return after some time. In Khachatryan’s words their primary mission is to get them back to families, reconcile with relatives, integrate into the society, help them through finding a job and renting an apartment.

The Facebook page of the foundation shared a story a day ago how the  representatives of “Armenian Santa Claus” charity foundation visited Svetlana Ivanovna, one of the residents at the shelter. The elderly women recalled stories of her youth, memories with lost family members and relatives.. “When the visitors were about to live, she looked at them with a bright smile, asking – Will you come again?” “Find a time and visit Svetlana Ivanovna and other residents at the shelter, it is important,” the post said.



Source Panorama.am
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