Thursday, December 20, 2012

Homeless in Lisbon, Portugal

Homeless in Lisbon, Portugal: In 2009, Portugal presented a much feted national strategy for homelessness. Apparently somewhere along the line, implementation got overlooked since there is a reported increase of 30% in the past few years. According to staff at some homeless shelters, many live on the street but others in abandoned buildings not so visible to public view. Some are immigrants, some are Portuguese who worked in other countries but lost their jobs & can’t find work in Portugal (or they wouldn’t have left in the first place), many are employed but unable to afford rents. This man sleeps in downtown Lisbon.

In April 2010, an Ending Homelessness exhibit was launched in the European Parliament, the legislature of the European Union (EU). The exhibit toured Europe, including Portugal, where all the big wheels showed up to get their pictures taken as champions of the homeless. The EU, of course, is now imposing the austerity policies in Portugal creating the massive homelessness. Life is full of unintended sarcasms!  (Photo by Rafael Marchante/Reuters)

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