As winter nears, NGOs say gov’t has no plan for homeless

As winter approaches and temperatures drop, non-governmental organizations offering support to the growing ranks of the homeless have warned that authorities have no action plan to accommodate thousands of people living on the streets in the event of seriously adverse weather conditions.

“We can’t just wait until the temperature hits zero to think about drafting an action plan,” Tzanetos Antypas of Praksis, an NGO that provides daily assistance to the homeless, told reporters at a briefing on Thursday with other groups including the Greek Network for the Right to Shelter and a Home.

One spokesman remarked that a much-discussed national action plan “remains in the drawer of the Labor, Social Insurance and Welfare Ministry.”

Of the 2,773 people who have received support from Praksis, half live on the street, one in three live in homes lacking basic amenities such as heating, electricity and water, while one in five face the risk of eviction.