Available in: Share article

Prague extends crisis accommodation for another two months

The Czech capital controls the spread of Covid-19 by accommodating the homeless

  • April 29, 2020 19:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium prague 1274778

Prague will be extending its accommodation programme for the homeless for another two months, announced the local authority on Monday. It was estimated that providing emergency accommodation to homeless persons is significantly cheaper compared to the potential treatment costs, as it allows to limit the spread of the virus and saves on hospital expenses.

Follow-up social support

Prague is entering the next phase of its crisis accommodation project. In the beginning, emergency housing has been provided to homeless people, which helped limit the spread of coronavirus among this at-risk group. Now, it is essential to continue providing accommodation for security reasons.

What is more, the capital city will be going one step further by offering enhanced social support. This will ensure that those who once received accommodation can now find housing and work, instead of returning to the streets, explained councillor Adam Zábranský quoted by the municipal portal.

Accommodating the homeless costs less to the local budget

Up until now, the city has set aside a total of 340 places in hostels, hotels and two camps, and will increase its capacity by another ten beds. However, as it is necessary to close both temporary camps in May, those who live there will have to be relocated.

Priority will thus be given to seniors and people with disabilities. Social workers will take care of them and will work out on individual solutions for each person to help him find a job, housing or process documents and benefits. The accommodation costs for some of the participants in this follow up program will be covered by the municipal budget.

We see that the health of the accommodated people has significantly improved, as confirmed by medics providing health care to homeless people.”, testified Milena Johnová, Councillor for Social Policy and Health Care. She also calculated that by accumulating homeless, the city saves from healthcare, safety and other costs.

“A single ambulance trip costs up to 10,000, we pay additional money for the treatment of a homeless person in a hospital or for a night at an ambulance. These costs have now been eliminated for accommodated people. As a modern city, we want to go this cheaper and more efficient way in the long run " the councillor added.

Finally, the municipal representatives concluded that timely help is essential for reducing the number of people on the streets. This is also valid for those who have found themselves without job and housing because of the coronavirus crisis. If the city manages to accommodate them quickly, it reduces the risk of long-term homelessness.

Like the article? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest from the EU cities right into your inbox.