38 per cent of the Hungarian homeless only have about €90 – or even less – to support themselves each month.
7,604 homeless people were surveyed by the Menhely Alapítvány (Shelter Foundation) and Február Harmadika Munkacsoport (February Third Task Force). The survey was conducted for the 22nd time this year, reported hvg.
2,104 of the people asked live in public spaces – 737 in Budapest and 1,367 in other cities. 5,500 people live in private or public homeless shelters – 2,330 in Budapest and 3,170 in other cities.
Those who lose their homes but still have their jobs tend to immediately look for a shelter, a friend, family member, or acquaintance to stay with.
- Last year the government pledged to open more homeless shelters
- Budapest launched a program to help homeless women and their careers
Majority of the surveyed people said that to break out of homelessness, they would need a steady, monthly income, and enough money to rent a home. Most of them have given up on independently renting their own home. Many of them are either over 50, suffer from some sort of illness, and have a low-level education, which does not help their chances of getting a job.
Over half of them have less than €180 a month to support themselves, while 38 per cent have only €90 at their disposal.
According to data, 25 per cent of the homeless lost their own property, while 17 per cent lost their rentals. The remaining 58 per cent either lived in a family home or did not live in a home at all.
Every second homeless person named the cause of their homelessness as something personal or familial, such as divorce, conflict, illness, or struggles with alcohol, while every fourth person specified their cause as financial, such as not being able to pay rent, mortgage, or bills, or losing their job and income.
The statement that “homeless people are alcoholics” has been proven to be false, as most of them do not consume alcohol at all, or only in small portions.
The point of the survey is not to count the number of homeless people in the country; however, based on the research, there were at least 2,100 people sleeping on the streets on February 3. Based on this and the data from shelters, it is estimated that there were about 15,000 homeless people at the beginning of 2020.
The survey also noted that the amount of Romani people amongst the homeless keeps increasing. People of Romani descent are four times as likely to become homeless in Hungary.