Tent welcomes homeless

AN AVERAGE of 100 people per day have been visiting a tent that has been erected by Lisbon Câmara next to the Martim Moniz area, near Socorro, Anjos and Intendente, renowned for their large populations of homeless and street dwellers. The objective of the scheme is not simply to offer warmth and some consolation during this, one of the coldest winters for years, but also to encourage people to visit one of the several alcohol rehabilitation centres in the capital.

Besides tea and biscuits, there is also soup, bread and milk available, but, by design, there is not as much on offer in the tent as can be found in the alcoholism centres. So far, the scheme has been successful, with dozens of people in need of treatment and counselling, due to chronic alcohol abuse, being directed to the dedicated help centres.Although the tent is a temporary measure, Lisbon Câmara has created 144 more beds in five alcoholism centres in the city – Arco, Carvalhão, Xabregas, Beato and Graça. Since the tent has been functioning, the capital’s population has been responding with gifts of clothes, blankets and food.