While the whole world was still clutched in the pandemic’s claws, ‘stay home stay safe’ was the message being promoted widely. Still, there are people who are so unfortunate that they don’t have a home to stay safe in. On one hand, we talk about living on Mars, but on the other hand people are struggling to access basic necessities. Homelessness is a pervasive problem in every nation of the world.
The Netherlands is not immune to this promise, despite its overall wealth. Many cities, mainly Amsterdam and Utrecht, have reported a sharp growth in the number of homeless people, which has doubled in the last decade. The current housing and inflation crises are adding fuel to the fire. It is difficult to map the exact size of the problem, but social workers indicate that homelessness is becoming more visible on the streets every single day.
Concerned over the worsening problem, the four largest municipalities in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, the Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam, have jointly made an urgent appeal to the central government earlier this week. They requested the government to take its responsibility and take action to reverse the trend of rising homelessness. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Rutte, the municipalities suggest that more affordable homes are needed to provide homeless people a new beginning. Furthermore, they asked for more funds to support vulnerable homeless people and people in danger of becoming homeless.
Written by Parul Sachdeva