Albufeira Council sets up emergency homeless shelter

A hostel in Albufeira has been turned into a homeless shelter by Albufeira Council in a bid to provide a safe refuge for dozens of people living rough on the streets during the coronavirus pandemic. The long-term plan is to “show them the path to a better life through rehabilitation”.

Featuring 43 beds, the hostel, located in Brejos, will operate as an emergency homeless shelter for two months. Residents will be served four daily meals and have proper access to toilet facilities, enabling them to live with dignity.

Fourteen people have already found safe refuge at the shelter and more are expected to join them soon.
Representing an investment by the council of €50,000, the project also has the support of the Algarve Biomedical Centre (ABC), which tests residents for Covid-19; the Red Cross (transportation services);

CASA, which manages the shelter; and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Albufeira (laundry services).

“This project is groundbreaking in Portugal in the way that it lays the groundwork for encouraging the homeless to a better life through rehabilitation,” says Albufeira Mayor José Carlos Rolo, adding that the situation of the homeless has been a concern for a long time.

The mayor visited the shelter last week and confirmed that the “current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has made life even harder for the homeless and this we cannot ignore”.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com