Upon first glance, Barcelona appears to be thriving since it is always full of wealthy tourists and locals frequenting its many bars and restaurants. And this is the case, for the most part. The different industries in this region of the country are doing well, and many people currently find themselves in well-paid, secure jobs. But there are also those who struggle.
Statistics show that over 19% of the population in Catalonia currently live in poverty. This is defined by people trying to survive on an income of under 600€ per month. And more than 12% of the population live on an income of less than 350€ per month, the vast majority of which are elderly people and single mothers. Both rent and food prices continue to rise, whilst the opportunities to find reliable, well-paid employment become less. So, it’s no surprise that many of these people often find themselves out on the street, without a place to live. There is currently an estimate 3000 people who are homeless in Barcelona.
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How do they survive?
When times are hard and situations take a turn for the worst it becomes very difficult to see any hope or salvation. Many people resort to begging on the streets, praying that passersby will take pity on them. There are lots of kind people willing to donate, but living on the streets can be very dangerous, especially in the evening when the homeless are most vulnerable. Begging rarely does provides enough for proper meals, which makes some people have to search through bins for food. Fortunately, there are organizations that are doing a great job when it comes to tackling the homelessness issue.
The biggest and most successful homeless charity is the Arrels Foundation, which is located on Carrer de la Riereta, in the Raval neighborhood. It has been running since 1997, and it works directly with homeless people, providing housing, meals, attention and healthcare. It also works with the public trying to raise awareness for the issue. Since it started, nearly 20 years ago, they have been able to successfully re-home over 9000 people. They accept donations via their website, and are always looking for more volunteers.
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Esperança is a smaller English-speaking organization, whose name means “hope”. The members of the organization go out twice a week to distribute food and clothing to the homeless and also to offer their time in conversation. They too are always looking for new members.
Sant Joan de Deu
Sant Joan de Deu is a Catholic organization for the sick and needy, located on Carrer Creu dels Molers, in Poble-Sec. It is part of a worldwide group offering help with both social and health issues, as well as spirituality and faith. They continue to do great work with the homeless, raising awareness and offering food and shelter. You can contribute by making a small donation via their .
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