"This year, the number of homeless people in the district of Faro should be similar to that of 2020, a period in which 604 cases were reported", said to Lusa Fábio Simão, president of MAPS, an organization that provides various services to the community in the field of social emergency.
Of the total number of cases reported last year, "more than 500 people were living on the streets or in a very precarious situation and only about 70 were in emergency accommodation.
According to Fábio Simão, there are two situations of homelessness: "those who are in emergency accommodation and who are considered homeless, but who have a roof, and the homeless, that is, living on the streets or in situations that are too precarious”.
The official added that, in 2020, MAPS “increased the number of beds in emergency accommodation in the district by 70”, through shared apartments in the municipalities of Lagos, Portimão, Faro, Loulé, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.
“The Algarve is the region in the country with the highest number of integrations in shared apartments, the result of work done in a network and articulated with various entities”.
Fábio Simão said that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the low tourist season in the Algarve could see the number of people in need of help grow.
According to the president of MAPS, in the first six months of the year, there were around 70 new signs of people needing a house, in the municipality of Faro alone.
“We have a masked crisis, a crisis that exists and that has worsened. Some people we had supported in the first state of emergency and who no longer needed help, came back to knock on our door asking for food support, in addition to new cases that have arisen”, he said.
Fábio Simão added that, as a rule, in the Algarve there were periods when requests for help decreased, "but this year, this oscillation was not felt."
"This is what makes us realize that effectively this year the numbers are to be maintained, hence the perception that we are going to surpass 600 cases of homeless people", he underlined.
The official added that it is only in January that the real numbers of homeless people in the Algarve this year will be calculated, “to see whether or not there has actually been an increase in relation to 2020”.