Between city streets, reception centres, shared apartments or boarding house rooms, Porto has 647 homeless people. This number calculated by the Homeless People’s Planning and Invention Center (NPISA Porto) means a reduction of 83 people in this situation (11.4% less) compared to 2021. Even so, looking at the official numbers since 2017, this is the second highest record.
“This decrease represents less 60 people (26%) in the condition of ‘homeless’ and less 23 people (4.6%) ‘without a home’”, says the City Council of Porto (CMP), in the statement sent to the newsrooms , this Thursday, with data compiled by NPISA Porto, within the scope of the survey promoted by the National Strategy for the Integration of Homeless People.
Quoted in the text, the CMP councilor responsible for Social Action, Fernando Paulo, underlines that, “of the identified homeless people, only 40.5% are residents of the city of Porto, with an increase of 11.4% of people in a homeless situation compared to 2021 from other municipalities”.
This means that more than half of the people living on the streets or in reception centers in Porto come from outside the municipality, which leads the discussion to an issue raised whenever the annual numbers are known: a metropolitan strategy for homeless people .
And it is to this same point that Fernando Paulo returns, when he says that “this data reinforces the urgent need to adopt an inter-municipal strategy to face this challenge, to which the municipality of Porto cannot respond alone”.
Although the numbers point to a decline, those who work in the area, such as the director general of Albergues do Porto, Carmo Fernandes, says that “statistics do not reflect half of reality”.
As for the characterization of homeless people, the male gender continues to be predominant (82.1%), with the majority of this population between 45 and 64 years old (66.13%) and between 31 and 44 years old (21.9% ). Also in line with previous years, most are Portuguese nationals (87%). According to the communiqué from the municipality, dependence on alcohol and psychoactive substances continues to be the main cause that takes people to the streets, although the percentage of this cause is not mentioned.
The multidisciplinary team that has coverage of the municipality and that includes psychology, nursing, psychiatry and peer education valences accompanied 328 people in 2022. This indicator represents a drop in relation to the 519 accompaniments registered in 2021.
Formed in 2018, NPISA Porto is made up of 67 public and private entities, with the task of diagnosing, planning and activating municipal response networks to homeless people.
Among CMP’s responses to the homeless population is the Temporary Shelter Center Joaquim Urbano, operating on the premises of the former hospital, as well as 92 beds in shared apartments.