The Labour, Family and Social Policy Ministry's state secretary, Marija Pletikosa, on Friday told a conference on homelessness in the Adriatic city of Split that Croatia had allocated almost HRK 20 billion in the period from 2021 to 2027 to combat poverty and social exclusion.
“The National Plan to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion in Croatia for the period from 2021 to 2027 foresees and allocation of almost HRK 20 billion,” Pletikosa said at the 15th national conference on homelessness.
According to Pletikosa, that money will be disbursed to implement several measures and services that will be provided for the purpose of combatting poverty in Croatia. She added that the measures also include providing assistance to the homeless.
“Given that homelessness has been recognised on the global level as a growing problem, in the coming period the Ministry will continue to work in synergy in cooperation with other key stakeholders to improve policies directed towards protecting the homeless,” she said.
She added that in the coming period homeless people will be accommodated during “extreme winter conditions” in premises that will be ensured by large cities and county centre cities.
Drago Lelas from the Split-based MoST NGO said that there were currently 45 homeless people in Split and 35 were accommodated in homeless shelter centres, however, ten addicts or those suffering from grave mental issues refused help.
“There are about 2,000 people in Croatia who are considered to be homeless as defined by the law and of that number 400 are accommodated in shelters, which is the capacity of the 14 shelters that exist in Croatia. The rest are out in the street,” said Lelas.
He added that Croatia has still not taken over a typology relating to the homeless, which describes living in inappropriate housing conditions without electricity and water, in sheds, caravans and the like. Based on that typology, Lelas underscored, Croatia would have about ten thousand homeless people.
He also underscored that since the outbreak of the pandemic, all 14 homeless shelters in Croatia had registered only one case of being positive with coronavirus, and that being in Zagreb.