Homeless people and those living in substandard housing (usually squatters) are to be placed on Palma's residents' register from the start of next year. The town hall departments for public service and for welfare and social rights are working together to ensure this registration, which is a requirement for anyone wanting help from social services.
Médicos del Mundo (Doctors of the World) are assisting the town hall in identifying those who are on the streets or in poor housing. They will become eligible to a range of benefits from the social rights department. The councillor - Mercedes Borrás - explains that these include training and health services as well as welfare aid.
Making the announcement yesterday, Borrás noted that the Cruz Roja (Red Cross) has attended to a total of 1,194 people, of which 363 live on the streets permanently while the rest have temporary accommodation or are on the streets intermittently.
Mayor José Hila added that these people are in "limbo" when it comes to being registered. He stressed that there cannot be first and second-class citizens and, above all, there cannot be "invisible citizens". Registration, he said, is a human rights issue. "Through this measure we will make available the means to allow people to have a more dignified life."
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