Watch: “Homeless persons are on the increase”- YMCA

YMCA Chief executive and Secretary General Anthony Camilleri described the increase in the amount of homeless persons over sixty as alarming with

Anthony Camilleri explained that the YMCA is 5 referrals of homeless persons every day. He also explained in most instances these are young men and women between the ages of 20 and 25 however, there is an a alarming increase in persons over sixty that are seeking their assistance as most of the shelters are filled up to maximum capacity.

Camilleri also explained that there is a difference between persons that are homeless and those who are in an institution, living with friends or sharing their domicile with a large amount of persons amongst others. He said that such a distinction one can also include not only those that literally live on the streets but also those that live in precarious conditions.

‘People end up homeless because of different circumstances’ – Caritas Director

Caritas Malta Director Anthony Gatt told that amongst those persons that use the Caritas shelters, 33% are Maltese, 33% are of European origin and 33% are coming from the African continent. He said that there are various reasons why people use these services such as foreigners who will be waiting for their working permits before being able to rent a home, and others that ended up in a “no man’s land” because they do not get enough help or cannot earn a living. He also said that when the shelters are full those in need are referred to other places.

Talking to, Professor Andrew Azzopardi stressed that one needs to listen to what these vulnerable person have to say, to keep intact social responsibility and a sense of community. He further explained that poverty is not an isolated phenomenon but is always related to other issues.

Professor Azzopardi also said that the idea of Homeless a conference focused on homeless persons or without a fixed domicile originated within the Faculty of Health Science, The Faculty for Social Wellbeing and the YMCA amongst others and was held at Verdala Palace in Buskett on Friday.

Caritas Malta operates what emergency shelters with the collaboration of the Alfred Mizzi Foundation and the Government. Papa Franġisku House holds 22 beds for men; Maria Dolores House has 8 beds. There are also other shelters in the portfolio that welcome persons for longer stays. These houses provide a service to those caught that end up without a permanent domicile.