Updates: 11/30/2021 1:17 PM
Released: 30.11.2021, 13:17
Prague – About 500 homeless people will be able to sleep in dormitories and similar facilities in Prague in the winter. The dormitories will open on December 1 in extended winter operation. In the winter months, capacity will also increase and the operating hours of low-threshold day centers will be extended. Homeless people will also be able to be vaccinated in the facilities. Prague councilor Milena Johnová (Prague Sobě) and director of the city’s contributory organization Prague Social Services Center (CSSP) Martin Šimáček told the press today. CSSP is the main coordinator of winter services, in which non-profit organizations also participate.
“We managed to vaccinate some of them in cooperation with non-governmental organizations during the year, and we want to use winter humanitarianism to further increase vaccination coverage.
She added that about 500 people underwent vaccinations at vaccination events in locations where homeless people stay. Other homeless people have been vaccinated in shelters. According to the councilor, the vaccination coverage of the homeless population is about ten to 15 percent. According to Johnová, it is not possible to determine exactly how many homeless people there are in Prague, estimates are around 5,000 people. In connection with covid-19, the number of people on the street is increasing. According to the councilor, the number of people at risk of homelessness is also higher.
Due to the pandemic, according to Šimáček, similarly to last winter, it is necessary to monitor the health status of homeless people when providing accommodation. There are two social housing facilities for homeless people to get rid of coronavirus infection or to spend quarantine or isolation. Their capacity is a total of 72 seats. According to the director of the CSSP, almost half of the beds are now occupied, and if necessary, the number of beds for weaning will increase. A special transport vehicle provided by the R-Mosty organization is used to transport people infected with coronavirus, people suspected of being infected or homeless people with quarantine.
For this winter, the capacity of dormitories and facilities with all-day operation is 539 beds. The non-profit organization Naděje will open a dormitory with a capacity of 60 beds in Smíchov and a low-threshold night center in Michle on Wednesday, said Hana Šimková, a spokeswoman for the organization. The Salvation Army will now operate the Kloubovy domy facility in Prague 9, which is intended primarily for the elderly as a chronic disease. The capacity of this year’s all-day facility is up to 40 people. Up to 56 other people on the street can spend the night in a dormitory on Tusarova Street, where the Salvation Army also provides services.
According to the director of the city organization, up to 180 homeless people can spend the night on the Hermes ship, where services are offered by the staff of the Prague Social Services Center. The facility is open all year round, so far in November it was used by about 120 people a day. The CSSP dormitory for 88 people in the area of the Michle heating plant has been open due to the freezing weather since last week, Šimáček informed.
Prague also provides accommodation for homeless people in rented hostels, said Johnová. The city leased them for this purpose in the spring of 2020 in connection with the covid-19 epidemic. According to the councilor, about 200 people now live in the four rented accommodation facilities.
The intervention team will now have a new intervention team, according to the CSSP director. The team will include health professionals and social workers who will assist homeless people in, for example, hospital care. The task of the intervention team will, for example, be to facilitate communication between hospital staff and the homeless person being treated. After possible treatment of the homeless by a doctor in the hospital or after his hospitalization in the hospital, the intervention team will offer the possibility of follow-up help in dormitories and hostels.
CSSP cooperates with non-profit organizations such as Hope, the Salvation Army, the Jako doma community center or the Archdiocesan Charity and the Parish Charity. According to John, the duration of dormitories and extended day center operations depends on the weather. This year, they should be fully operational by the end of March.