In Poland, as elsewhere, the data does not correspond to the logic of your average statistics; the minister of labour and social affairs states there are between 80 and 130, 000 homeless people, whilst Caritas Poland cites 30, 000 and other organisations number the destitute at 500, 000. We meet one community south of the Vistula river in Warsaw
The problem with figures is compounded by the diverse range of crisis situations. What is a homeless person exactly? A man sleeping in a cardboard box? A woman vainly attempting to heat a derelict house? A begging alcoholic? The homeless people in Poland try to survive, full stop. No fixed address, poorly housed, extremely vulnerable, low-waged workers: there are as many words to describe a life of hardship.
Cold and homeless? Pick up the phone
The Polish government’s political strategy is to invite the population to dial ‘112‘ in the winter the moment they see a person in need from their window. At the height of the frost, more than fiftypeople died of the cold nationwide in the space of a week. Meanwhile, 190people in adequate housing suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. The rest are put up in heated dormitories. The homeless themselves complain of the reception they receive in certain establishments. ‘We are even asked to pay for what we eat – you can’t play with people’s lives like that,’ confides one person.
read full article at source
Poland’s homeless go underground to survive deep freeze