Croatia needs more shelters for homeless


Currently 420 homeless people are provided with accommodation in 14 shelters and warming centres, and as many are still in the streets with no help, while several thousand citizens are on the verge of homelessness as they lack money to pay for utilities or live in container and trailer homes or similar types of accommodation, said Drago Dado Lelas, the head of the Croatian network for the homeless.

Zagreb, Varazdin, Rijeka, Sibenik, Pula, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Zadar, Kastela, Karlovac and Split are good examples of care for those destitute people because they have developed programmes of assistance, Lelas said in Split on Wednesday.

On the other hand, the towns of Sisak and Vinkovci have not developed any assistance programmes for the homeless. For instance, in Sisak 20 people live in the street without any accommodation.

Lelas warns that under the law, local authorities in cities, towns and counties are obliged to offer those people some form of accommodation, at least overnight shelters. Such emergency centre will soon be organised in Vukovar.

Croatia does not have an official registry of the homeless, and according to available statistics, 420 homeless people are staying in 14 shelters and warming centres in 11 cities. It remains unknown how many people need this kind of help.