Extra beds in Brussels homeless shelters during the cold spell

With temperatures having fallen well below freezing, the federal and regional authorities have increased the number of beds available at shelters for the homeless in Brussels. The Federal Minister responsible for tackling poverty Kris Peeters (Flemish Christian democrat) has ordered the creation of 50 extra place at homeless shelters that will serve as a buffer to the places already in existence at homeless shelters in the capital. 

The federal authorities’ centre in the Brussels municipality of Etterbeek has made 250 beds available since 8 December. This will now be increased to 300 beds.

 

The centre is currently almost full to capacity. The centre offers homeless people a bed, somewhere to wash and meals. In addition to this the centre also provides medical and psycho-social care. Meanwhile, Samusocial now has between 900 and 920 places available at its homeless shelters.

 

However, the organisation’s spokeswoman Marie-Anne Robberecht says that this isn’t enough. During the coming an extra 300 beds will become available thanks to the opening of a third shelter in Evere. Samusocial teams have been sent out onto the streets to try and find the most vulnerable homeless people and persuade them to go to a shelter.