Around 5,000 Homeless People In Romanian Capital Bucharest, 300 Die Each Year – NGO Study

The number of homeless people in Romania is on the rise, with an estimated 5,000 people living on the street in Bucharest alone and 300 fatalities every year, according to estimates by the Samusocial Romania NGO.

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Imaginea articolului Around 5,000 Homeless People In Romanian Capital Bucharest, 300 Die Each Year – NGO Study

Around 5,000 Homeless People In Romanian Capital Bucharest, 300 Die Each Year – NGO Study

Samusocial Romania (the Social Emergency Mobile aid Service) is a non-government organization which, since 2004, has been providing emergency aid to people having difficulty simply surviving.

According to the NGO, the number of homeless people is estimated to be on the rise, with up to 15,000 people living on the streets, 5,000 of them in capital Bucharest alone. Almost 300 homeless people die in Bucharest every year.

Samusocial carried out, between December 2008 and November 2009, a study on the mental health of adult homeless people in Bucharest, querying 100 people undergoing psychiatric treatment.

The study found that 45% of those questioned did not have identification papers or birth certificates.

Also, of the 84% who had professional training, 8% had higher education, 60% - medium education and 24% had primary education.

According to the study, the main sources of income for these people are begging, especially for people with mental health problems, pensions or occasional money from the sale of renewable materials.

The study says homeless people find shelter mainly in apartment building hallways, parks, train stations and markets, depending on the season.

Samusocial specialists divided adult homeless people with mental problems into two categories: those who end up living on the street because of their condition (56%, suffering from schizophrenia, personality disorders, mental retardation and alcoholism) and those who develop the condition because of life on the street (27%, suffering from depression, anxiety and alcoholism).

Specialists also said the rate of fatalities due to mental conditions is higher among homeless people, estimated by the Samusocial's medical cabinet to be between 25% and 80%. Their situation is not monitored and there is no specialized aid service, not even in Bucharest.

The NGO proposed that a complex community service to integrate adults with mental conditions be set up. The service would be tailored to their needs and promote awareness among the community, in order to lead to a change in attitude vis-à-vis homeless people.

Furthermore, Samusocial specialists requested that patients who leave a medical institution be monitored. The NGO said that, in most cases, patients who are taken off medication leave the hospital and end up back on the street, without the option of continuing treatment or entering a recuperation center.

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