Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
It is a fact that in Malta there are people who have no place to live.
Although we may not see people sleeping on a bench in a garden or on the doorstep of a shop, in Malta there are a considerable number of people who do not have a roof over their heads and unfortunately, this number is increasing.
The problem of homelessness is still taboo; as a society we prefer not to talk about it and tend to sweep this problem under the rug.
‘Couchsurfing’, where a person spends the night temporarily with friends or family members, is hiding this problem further, and sometimes makes it more difficult for the person to find help and the support he or she needs.
Losing your home has a tremendous traumatic impact, mentally, physically and emotionally.
In an interview with Newsbook.com.mt, Therese Cini Sarreo, Operations and Administration Manager within YMCA Malta, said that many people think that a person ends up homeless because they are neglected, do not take care of their belongings, do not work because they are lazy, or have problems with drugs, alcohol or gambling. Even though this may be true, she says, the majority of people who end up homeless and meet the YMCA Malta on a daily basis, do not have these problems. Unfortunately, a person often ends up homeless after experiencing a series of events in his or her life that he or she has no control over.
For a person who has lost everything he or she has worked for for years, it is humiliating and embarrassing to ask for help because of the social stigma associated with not having a roof over your head.
It is extremely difficult to ask for help from family members or friends… and it is even more difficult to ask for help from voluntary organisations such as YMCA Malta or government agencies such as Appoġġ.
However, if you are going through a time in your life where you may not have a place to live or have lost your home, please be aware that there are voluntary organisations and other services that can help you get back on your feet. Seek the help you need. This difficult time is just a phase in your life.
If you would like to send a donation to YMCA Malta, you can do so by sending an SMS to 50619256 for a donation of €11.65.
This article is part of Newsbook.com.mt’s ‘Ma Kienx Hemm Post Għalihom fil-Lukanda’ campaign.
Editing: Sarah Salafia