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Pilsen conducts Czechia’s largest study on homelessness

Pilsen conducts Czechia’s largest study on homelessness

Experts interviewed 282 homeless individuals and 754 members of the public

On 30 September, the Czech City of Pilsen reported that it has conducted a study on the needs and expectations of homeless individuals. As part of the study, the municipality contacted not only those who are homeless but also members of the public. The aim behind the city’s research is to find an intersection between the two groups and solutions that are deemed acceptable by both parties.

Experts from the University of West Bohemia’s Department of Sociology conducted the study under the guidance of Associate Professor Jan Váně. According to Váně, the findings will allow the team to come up with solutions to homelessness; after this, it will be the duty of political organisations to ensure their implementation.

Over 1,000 people took part in the study

The researchers contacted 325 individuals who are currently homeless. Of these 325, only 43 refused to take part. The 282 people who participated shared their habits, needs, and expectations. Moreover, they disclosed personal information such as whether they are in contact with their families and if they spend the night alone or in pairs.

In addition to this group, 754 members of the public also took part in the city’s study. Councillor David Šlouf shared the positive news that a whopping 80% of these individuals said that the city should take action to offer help to those who are homeless.

What did the study find?

In a press release, the City of Pilsen revealed that 69% of the homeless people interviewed by the experts want to change their lives for the better. Speaking to the research team, this group revealed what services they would like the municipality to offer.

78% shared that they want a low-threshold day centre where they can go to relax, reheat food, and take a shower. 63% stated that they would make use of a soup kitchen offering free food during the cold winter days.

The most-wanted service was found to be public showers, with 85% of participants wanting access to such facilities. Taking this further, the most-wanted service among women (over 82%) is a low-threshold women’s centre.

The second group of participants (i.e., the public) commented on how often and where they encounter those who are homeless. What is more, 54% of them claimed that they would contribute to helping homeless people and a staggering 91% shared that they are in favour of creating alcohol-free zones in the city.

Preparing a strategy for 2022

Based on the research data, the City of Pilsen will now create a strategy to help those who are homeless. Šlouf commented on this, noting that the municipality wants to prepare a concrete plan by 2022:

“We want to have it ready in the first quarter of next year, we will discuss it with all key actors, i.e., not only within the city, but also with the professional public and helping organisations. Then, it will go to the council.”

According to the municipality, the plan is currently expected to include a low-threshold day centre and hot meals in the winter.

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