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86% of people staying with public assistance grow and one third in number of those sleeping on the street (25/09/2019)

The number of people sleeping on the street in Cartagena has dropped by a third (from 33 to 23) and people staying in residential resources in Cartagena have grown 86% (from 114 to 213) since 2016, according to the II Study on Exclusion Residential in Cartagena, which has developed a team led by Professor Manuel Hernández Pedreño and presented this morning by the researcher and the vice mayor and head of Social Services, Noelia Arroyo.

The presentation of the results of the study, also, has been attended by the second deputy mayor, Manuel Padín, the Councilor for Social Services, Mercedes García, the president of the EAPN-RM, Rosa Cano, the councilors of the corporation municipal, Enrique Pérez, Arantxa Pérez, Gonzalo Abad and Aurelia García and several associations of Cartagena.

The study is the result of collaboration between the Observatory of Social Exclusion of the University of Murcia (OES), the City Council of Cartagena and the European Network to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion of the Region of Murcia (EAPN-RM ), and has had the collaboration of 10 social entities that work against social exclusion.

The results of the research reflect that the number of people staying in insecure or inadequate housing has also been reduced by a quarter, from 464 to 343;

while the number of people who are more than five years in residential exclusion has also been reduced by more than half.

The Vice Mayor of Cartagena, Noelia Arroyo, recalled that the Department of Social Services works from the SAVI (Housing Assistance and Intermediation Service), to “manage accommodation for people with needs, mediate before banks to avoid evictions and to improve the housing quality ”.

The SAVI has the support of numerous social organizations, public institutions, including banks, that participate in the Housing Board and in the three Working Groups that comprise it.

From them, strategies are designed to improve the information to housing applicants, expand the resources at their disposal, mediate in the face of eviction and to establish better management and organizational formulas.

President EAPN-RM, Rosa Cano, explained that this study “provides scientific knowledge from which we can objectively establish the diagnoses that will serve as a basis for planning social policies and especially advancing in local strategies and plans for inclusion and the fight against poverty ”.

In addition, he said that we must focus on residential exclusion to "establish the framework for the creation of future housing policies and urban planning of cities."

This study also provides the following results on residential exclusion in Cartagena:

With respect to the social situation by areas, there is an improvement in the educational and income levels of the population in residential exclusion, since the percentages corresponding to people without studies decrease (28.1% to 26.3%) and without income (17.3% to 13.8%), increasing the average monthly income from 270.8 euros to 342 euros.

This improvement rests, on the one hand, in a decrease in the percentage of unemployed (62.5% to 57.1%) and a greater weight of irregular activity (8.7% to 15.6%), and on the other hand, in an increase of the economic aid channeled through the local administration and social entities with respect to 2016.

Some health indicators also improve, such as the prevalence of daily tobacco use, although others are practically maintained, such as in the case of daily alcohol consumption or the incidence of mental illness, given that they hardly register a decrease of just over a porcentual point.

This study also reflects that the incorporation of foreign people seeking asylum, international protection or humanitarian reception, has increased the number of homeless or support centers / flats, increasing the presence of women and improving educational levels and of health of this category.

The professor and director of the OES, Manuel Hernández, has concluded by highlighting the work being done by the City Council and social entities in the fight against residential exclusion and claimed “greater collaboration of regional and state administrations”.

STUDY

The municipality of Cartagena conducts its first study on residential exclusion in 2016, which is carried out again in 2018 in order to know the evolution of this social reality.

The study was carried out taking as reference the nights of November 22 and 24, 2016 and 2018, respectively, interviewing 611 and 578 people in residential exclusion.

The field work was carried out in four different contexts:

areas where homeless people usually spend the night

spaces where sub-housing settlements are located

housing and residential support resources

entities that offer other resources: day-stay centers, social canteens, food deliveries and advisory services related to the city's housing

Source: Ayuntamiento de Cartagena

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