Due to evictions and greater poverty, there are already more than a thousand people homeless in Córdoba

The amount of people in street situations In the city of Córdoba it is increasing, according to data from the capital’s Government. The Undersecretary of Emergency and Social Intervention, Mariana del Campo, told The voice that since the beginning of the new management and in a context of the economic crisis, “a new subject of assistance linked to housing vulnerability” has been evident.

“These are people who suffered evictions – formal or informal – and who entered the program. They try to channel their family ties and assist them financially so that they can rent again,” he indicated.

These individuals join the Homeless People Program, which also works on other social problems with the aim of providing a comprehensive response.

According to official data managed by the Secretariat of Social Policies and Human Development of the Municipality of Córdoba, there are currently 1,060 people homeless.

Homeless people who live under the bridges of the city of Córdoba. (José Gabriel Hernández / The Voice)

More assistance

The program has been developed since 2020, as a result of the pandemic, and was permanently consolidated with the inclusion of different public departments according to needs.

Furthermore, this multidisciplinary approach is carried out in coordination with 12 civil society organizations. Foundations and NGOs, through volunteers, help people with food and emotional support.

From the Municipality, they admitted that due to demand, but also due to a political decision, the technical and territorial teams almost doubled their operations in the last five months. “The social situation is serious and we are here to respond,” they maintained.

Added to this are many families who travel to the Center and are not on the streets, but come to dine or look for food, as Marisa Fuentes, president of the Córdoba Voluntary Foundation, warned. “The neighborhood soup kitchens or soup kitchens we work with are overwhelmed, just like us,” she said.

Constant challenges

“We observe the problem minute by minute and our intention is to protect all people. We know of merchants who take advantage of these factors, such as drug dealing, and we do not want them to remain prisoners of these situations,” reflected Del Campo.

Other people in vulnerable situations decide not to go to shelters and live in green spaces or on sidewalks. In conditions of extreme destitution, they covered themselves with quilts and cardboard, or dragged ballasts while moving through the central area of ​​the Capital. The Bus Terminal, some sections of La Cañada and under the bridges that cross the Suquía River, are some spaces where they temporarily live.

More than a thousand people are served in the Homeless People Program. (Javier Ferreyra / the Voice)
More than a thousand people are served in the Homeless People Program. (Javier Ferreyra / the Voice)

For Fuentes, although the number of homeless people has increased, those who are currently in the Center or are visible are those who do not want to be housed in the program’s operations or those who have been expelled from the devices to which they They are taken away for not complying with the rules of coexistence.

“It is a problem that is not necessarily a product of lack of funds. There are issues linked to problematic consumption, socio-affective disengagement, lack of job opportunities, among other realities,” they indicated from the area directed by Raúl La Cava.

“We organizations have our own problems of lack of donations and help from the State to meet demands. Currently, we only receive help from the Municipality of Córdoba for our night tour once a week,” said Fuentes.

The radical councilor Fabiana Gutiérrez participated in different surveys that were carried out by the Ombudsman’s Office on the problem and in recent weeks she repeated the task with her work team.

“Although some type of assistance is provided, we notice that important containment in terms of health is missing. People cannot be found to take them to public hospitals and they do not easily access treatments,” he said.

A proposal that will be presented to the legislative body will be for an ambulance from the municipal emergency service 107 to be dedicated to the program.

Destitute poverty. Hut made of cardboard and nylon on the Cañada. (José Gabriel Hernández / The Voice)
Destitute poverty. Hut made of cardboard and nylon on the Cañada. (José Gabriel Hernández / The Voice)

Citizen participation

The municipal Secretariat of Social Policies and Human Development channels through different devices the reception of the demand from people living on the street. One of the contact channels that has seen the most growth in recent times was the dissemination of a WhatsApp number in which any neighbor can give notice.

So far in May, 221 notices have been channeled. In April, there had been 204; and in the previous months, they were around fifty each month.

“They are asked to send an address and if possible a photograph, and the emergency team evaluates the case,” they warned from the Municipal, while assessing citizen involvement.

In this way, for example, they became aware of a man with a housing problem in the Ferreyra neighborhood. The intention is to be able to find a solution in the same area.

“Unlike other years, neighbors get more involved, they write to the organizations that we work on the streets or ask us for a number to call,” Fuentes concluded.

More information

To notify homeless people, contact WhatsApp at +549 351 5950589, with Civil Defense at 103 and 108 or go to the headquarters of the Secretariat of Social Policies (27 de Abril 784,) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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