NGO reasseses city?s homeless

There are fewer people sleeping on the streets of Athens than estimated but the city also faces a serious problem with the number of residents squatting in unhealthy conditions in abandoned buildings, according to the head of the Praksis nongovernmental organization, Tzanetos Antypas.

Praksis provides daily assistance to the capital?s homeless, who, according to Antypas, number about 1,500. Antypas says that another 11,500 people are living in squats, sometimes without electricity or running water, so the total amount of homeless is lower than had been estimated.

?It is an acute problem but we have to admit that estimates that put the number of homeless in Athens as high as 25,000 are inflated,? he said.

Praksis is funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which Wednesday announced it was giving 10.2 million euros to 39 NGOs. It has already approved 20.9 million euros for 55 NGOs as part of an effort to combat the social impact of the economic crisis.