"Embrace" for the homeless from 3 Attica Municipalities
The program is called "Housing and Work for the Homeless" and will be implemented by the municipalities of Elliniko-Argyroupolis, Vyronas and Kaisariani, with the program manager of the development organization of the municipality of Elliniko-Argyroupolis "Elliniko - Anelixi SA". It has a budget of 400,000 euros and is funded by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, with the management being the National Institute of Labor and Human Resources.
The duration of the program is 2 years and beyond, it creates 3 new jobs, 2 for social workers and one for financial-administrative scientist. The Social Services of the three municipalities, in the context of their actions against social exclusion, address all the needs of the homeless through an integrated scientific approach, which seeks to improve living conditions, with the aim of full employment and social reintegration.
The costs of the program, in addition to the salaries of the employees, cover the rents of the beneficiaries for 2 years, the costs for their household, as well as the costs of the utilities, ie for electricity, water, heating and telephony. Equally important, however, is that they cover the training of the beneficiaries for the acquisition of professional skills, but also the subsidy of the companies that will employ part of the beneficiaries with the entire salary and insurance contributions for the first year and with the total insurance contributions for in the second year. Also, various indirect costs are covered (consumables, real estate, third party fees, etc.).
The program will benefit a total of 31 homeless people in all 3 municipalities, who belong to 25 households and come either from transitional hostels and dormitories (7 people), or live on the street (9 people), or live in completely unsuitable accommodation. (15 people). The Social Services have made the registration and their information has already started.
"It is a breath of fresh air for these people," Vyronas Mayor Grigoris Katopodis states.
A similar initiative had been taken before and Mr. Katopodis explains: "It has had results, but the issue is always what happens when the two years are over. The program also includes training and if they manage to join, it is a success. However, there are cases when they do not succeed for various reasons or because there may be some particular issues, such as a psychological problem. So here we need cooperation. It has been proposed that the municipalities and the various Ministries cooperate. For example, there are so many abandoned houses and thus the homeless can be given a chance, but in addition to the Local Government, the Ministries also need to contribute in this direction. It is a fact that I see an intention for something like this and I hope it goes ahead."
And the mayor of Byron adds: "The municipality is closer to the citizen than any other institution. Municipalities also have experience around social issues. Therefore, municipalities can carry out a major project. This is what we do with our structures. As a municipal authority we found in 2014 a Social Service, with KAPI for example, and during our tenure we developed it in various sectors. We also created new jobs, such as for social workers. There is therefore both intention and experience on our part."
For his part, the Mayor of Elliniko-Argyroupolis, Giannis Konstantatos, refers to the four parameters of the program "Housing and Work for the Homeless", which is managed by his municipality. He states: "The program" Housing and Work for the Homeless "makes us happy for 4 main reasons: First, we are happy to give a life solution to our suffering fellow human beings, 31 in total, that the their fate pushed them to lose not only their jobs but also their home. Second, new jobs will be created, such as for two social workers and a financial-administrative scientist. Third, through the financial program provided by the Development Organization of our municipality, "Hellenic - Development SA", in collaboration with the municipalities of Vyronas and Kaisariani, these people will be given a second chance to return to our society, pressing on their own feet. "Fourth, we are one of the first municipalities in the country to enter these programs dynamically and I am very proud of this result."