Homeless women and social workers caring for them are in the focus of a joint programme launched on Friday in Budapest in cooperation of municipal, civil and for-profit sector participants.
The programme includes film screenings, fund raising and a literary competition organised by the city council, film distributor Mozinet, the Budapest Methodological and Social Centre (BMSZKI) and the Budapest Bike Maffia.
Addressing a joint press conference, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony highlighted the importance of “a new public policy approach” by the city’s leadership to the homeless and in providing homeless care.
“Budapest’s new leadership has accordingly prepared an all new homeless care strategy,” he said.
Karácsony criticised the government’s policy which he said punishes the homeless rather than handling them with empathy and is seeking to prevent the majority of Budapest residents “from seeing homelessness as a complex issue”.
“The first step in solving the problem is perhaps to raise the sensitivity of the majority society towards the homeless, forming this way a partnership with them,” Karácsony said.
The mayor welcomed that an aim of the programme is to show that homelessness affects many women, including several victims of domestic violence.
Asked about measures the city plans to tackle homelessness, Karácsony mentioned a housing subsidy scheme and a debt management programme.
Gábor Böszörményi, managing director of Mozinet, said that they will show two times the French film Invisibles about the dedicated work of four social workers running a women’s shelter and support with the proceeds BMSZKI.
A drive collecting hygienic and cosmetics items to be donated to homeless women is also under way running until Sunday, the organisers said.