Shelter opens in Patra for vulnerable migrants

Greek nongovernmental organization Praksis and the Hellenic Red Cross have inaugurated a new shelter in Patra aimed at providing relief to dozens of migrants sleeping on the streets of the western port city.

The project is funded in part by the governments of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein through the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The new shelter is equipped to accommodate up to 30 unaccompanied minors and 40 individuals from vulnerable groups.

The center will provide beds as well as meals, basic healthcare, legal advice, psychological support, Greek immersion classes and help finding work.

Minors will be allowed to remain at the shelter until they reach adulthood or are reunited with their families.

“The streets are full of children that fall victim to criminal rackets,” said Daniel Esdras, head of IOM’s Greek mission. “Now these children have somewhere to turn.”

Patra has seen a big spike in its homeless population in the past few years as hundreds of undocumented migrants gather at the port in the hope of making their way onto a ship headed for Italy and deeper into the European Union.