New homeless women's shelter, La Violeta, opens in Barcelona
Council, government, and local nonprofit behind facility with capacity to house 26
Barcelona's upscale Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district is, as of Monday, also home to La Violeta, a new homeless shelter that caters exclusively to women and incorporates a gender perspective in its policies.
With a capacity to house up to 26 women that are set to begin arriving in the coming weeks, the shelter is funded by the Catalan government as well as the city council but will be run by a local nonprofit, ASSÍS Centre d'Acollida.
"La Violeta's goal is to slow down and reverse the quick and swift deterioration of personal, social, and relational ties," Elena Sala, who is in charge of ASSÍS Centre d'Acollida's women's program, explained on Monday.
According to Sala, women do not tend to become homeless as frequently as men do as they have a greater capacity for what she describes as "resistance" and can, she says, withstand more extreme, albeit traumatic, situations that often include "abuse, exploitation, or multiple forms of violence."
Indeed, Catalonia's work and social affairs minister Chakir el Homrani, who was also present at the shelter's unveiling, stressed that gender-based violence is frequently a cause of homelessness amongst women.
Meanwhile, Laura Pérez, of the Barcelona council, celebrated the opening of the shelter but highlighted the need to continue to address housing issues in the Catalan capital: "We need policies that stabilize this situation of residential exclusion."