20% of Barcelona’s homeless men were born in Morocco, survey finds

According to a recent count, more than 1,200 people have been sleeping on the streets of Barcelona since May. 20% of these homeless men were born in Morocco.

Where a homeless sleeps in Barcelona, Spain. / Ph. Arrels Fundacio
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In Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, more than 1,200 people live on the streets. A survey carried out by Arrels, an entity that looks after and guides homeless people who live in the city of Barcelona, revealed that during the state of health emergency, imposed due to the global health crisis, 1,239 people were not able to confine as they were homeless.

According to the association, 75% of these homeless people were born outside Spain, in countries like Morocco, Italy and Poland. Arrels, which conducted the study in May, reveals that the number is the highest in the last ten years. The total number of homeless people, according to the survey, increased by 80% during the last 10 years.

Giving more details about these people who sleep on the streets of Barcelona, the association indicated that three out of four of these homeless people are migrants.

Born in Morocco and sleeping on the streets of Barcelona

Indeed, the survey unveils that while 85% of the 1,239 people who sleep in Barcelona’s streets are men, 20% of them were born in Morocco. This number remains high as 22.3% of homeless men in Barcelona were born in Spain, 13.3% in Romania, 4.5% in Italy and 4% in Bulgaria.

Only 11% of homeless people in the city are women, and 4% identify with other gender identities. According to the survey, half of young people aged between 16 and 25 from the same group said that they had been living in juvenile centers before becoming homeless.

Unfortunately, the group includes Moroccan unaccompanied minor migrants. Arrels found out, while carrying its survey, a group of seven minor migrants from Morocco who said that they had been living on the streets of the city for one year and seven months.

The survey indicates that 30% of the 1,239 homeless people in Barcelona suffer from chronic illnesses. 40% of them said that have been subjected to verbal and physical abuse. 30% of the same group deal with addiction : 13% of them are addicted to alcohol, 12% to drugs and 4% to both alcohol and drugs.

In total, 4,200 people are in a situation of homelessness in Barcelona. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, 2,171 of them were housed in public and private facilities while 836 others were sheltered in factories and other places. The remaining 1,239 were the most vulnerable ones during the health crisis, as they had to stay outside while Spain was going through a rough health crisis.

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