Arrels Foundation has assisted a total of 2,617 homeless people in Barcelona during 2020, according to provisional data. The figure is slightly higher than in 2019 and means an increase of 47% compared to five years ago. Of the total number of people assisted, almost half (more than 1,100) were dealing with Arrels for the first time. The vast majority, 88%, are men, and 12% are women. Moreover, the entity has received 2,138 people in the open centre, adapting services and capacity to the current context. Specifically, the centre has been maintained as a place to stay and shelter, but the number of showers and toilets has been reduced (some 500 people benefited in 2020 compared to 958 in 2019).
The number of people using the luggage room has also decreased (455 in 2020 and 596 in 2019) due to the limited capacity. Up to 1,379 people have used Arrels' clothes bank, more than the previous year.
More activity in the street
In a year marked by the pandemic, Arrels has intensified its activity in the streets. For example, 671 people have been visited continuously, 27% more than in 2019. Moreover, during the months of total lockdown, Arrels set up an emergency team parallel to the street team that went out every evening to deliver hygiene kits and masks to the homeless, as well as meals and certificates to avoid fines and penalties for not being confined. Through the emergency routes they visited 496 people. During the pandemic, Arrels has been able to maintain the care of the homeless thanks to the support of 423 volunteers.
More homeless people
In addition, the foundation has provided face-to-face advice to almost 800 people, most of whom had recently been living on the streets or were about to become homeless.
As the organisation explains, many of these people came to the foundation for guidance during the weeks of strict confinement because they had to leave the boarding house or rented room where they lived. In addition, during the last months of the year they also found people who had become unemployed and could not afford to pay for their housing because they had not received government help.
In total, Arrels has guaranteed stable accommodation to 235 people and has accompanied them intensely in moments of confinement and loneliness. Most of the people who have been guaranteed accommodation live in flats.