Oct. 10. World Homeless Day • We Are All Potentially Homeless
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Images and stories from the streets of Athens over the past three years.
Over the past three years Greece has seen a rise in the number of homeless by 25% Only in Athens the number of people living in the streets estimated to 27.000 people – a city by itself.
Τhe profile of people living on the street or in unsuitable housing has been changed. These people are, young graduates, people in productive ages, and people who lost their jobs just before retirement. Since the debt crisis erupted, hundreds of thousands of Greeks have lost their jobs and the unemployment rate in Greece reached 27,6% (Among youth 15-24 years old the rates are much worst: 55.1% of young laborers are without job) as the economy contracted by another 5.6% in the first quarter of 2013, and even stricter austerity measures are being urged.
It is shocking how common this has become and how our perception has changed. If you saw a person sleeping on the streets of Athens ten years ago, chances were it would be one of a handful of known individuals who roamed the streets and were cared for by the neighborhood. No more. Now their numbers have swelled with social safety nets in danger of ripping completely.
Practically, we are all potentially homeless.
Behind the numbers and the statistics, behind the debt versus GDP ratio that have been the focus of the Greek crisis, there are those who are living out on the streets in extreme, harsh conditions. There is a great humanitarian and social cost that is being overlooked when attempting to understand and resolve the Greek crisis.
Greece's governmental coalition has tried to deal with the problem by driving homeless people and drug users out of the city centre – a series of controversial police operations has swept central streets, clearing crowded doorways and malls. But with such actions, authorities are only sweeping the problem under the carpet.
 July 2013. data: Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).