Barcelona charity assists more than 3,000 homeless people in 2022, up 22%

Arrels Foundation secured stable accommodation for 268 people

Two Arrels volunteers talk to Omar, who sleeps on the streets in Barcelona
Two Arrels volunteers talk to Omar, who sleeps on the streets in Barcelona / Blanca Blay

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

January 4, 2023 07:01 PM

January 4, 2023 07:11 PM

The Arrels Foundation (Fundació Arrels) helped a total of 3,062 homeless people in the city of Barcelona during 2022, 22% more than the previous year, according to the group's provisional data. 87% were men and 13% were women. 

The figure includes all homeless people attended to by the foundation, either by visiting them directly on the streets, because they have accessed the drop-in center to ask for guidance or to make use of basic services, or because they live in one of the group's accommodation centers. 

For 45% of those assisted, 2022 was the first time having contact with the foundation. 

The organization visited 955 people on the streets. The drop-in center was used by around 2,400 people who needed a place to shelter during the day, or to make use of basic services or receive advice. This represents 29% more people than during the previous year. 

Specifically, 588 people used the shower service, 995 people used the cloakroom and 484 were able to store their belongings and documentation in a locker. 

1,177 people asked for guidance and advice on the resources that exist in Barcelona for people who are homeless. 

The Arrels Foundation said it secured stable accommodation for 268 people, most of whom stayed in flats. 

"We have also guaranteed accommodation at Llar Pere Barnés, for people who have lived on the streets and who have fragile physical, mental or neurological health; and we have offered a nighttime space to rest and feel protected at Pis Zero," the organization explained. 

Access to accommodation has increased compared to 2021 and, in total, around thirty people have started living in a home for the first time since becoming homeless. 

43 homeless people in contact with the organization died in 2022. These included people attended to on the streets, people who came to the drop-in center, and people who lived in the charity's accommodation. 

In October, an event was held together with other organizations to remember people who had lived on the streets and who had lost their lives

The importance of public support 

Arrels currently has a network of volunteers who are involved throughout the year in helping the homeless. 

"The support we receive from the public and their concern and involvement with homeless people are key to being able to transform these situations, guarantee rights and improve lives," says the director of the foundation, Ferran Busquets. 

Over the course of last year, 2,526 people called the organization worried that someone in their neighborhood was living on the streets.

€1m lottery funds to tackle homelessness 

The Catalan government announced on Tuesday that it will allocate €1m from the Lotteries Fund to help tackle homelessness. President Pere Aragonès made the announcement while visiting a new facility of the Arrels Foundation – the Tere Villagrasa homes – along with the Minister for Social Rights, Carles Campuzano.