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Algarve's LEGOS project reveals that 626 people live on the street

ALGARVE'S LEGOS PROJECT REVEALS THAT 626 PEOPLE LIVE ON THE STREETThe LEGOS Project, a partnership between five entities (MAPS, GATO, GRATO, APF and CASA), together with seven Algarve municipalities, has revealed that there are 744 homeless people within those municipalities, of which 626 live on the street.

“The objective of LEGOS is to work in a network with all partners and in municipalities with Homeless Planning and Intervention Centers (NPISA), to help the population who are at risk of social exclusion and homelessness”, highlighted Fábio Simão.

“We have a constant increase in people in disadvantaged situations, with 744 cases of homelessness currently identified where the LEGOS project is developed”, a number that corresponds to half of the 16 municipalities in the Algarve, he explained.

Of the municipalities covered by the project, Albufeira, Faro, Lagos, Loulé, Portimão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, Loulé is where the most cases have been identified: 159 (of which 141 live on the street, i.e. homeless), followed by Portimão, with 131 (116 homeless), to Albufeira, with 115 (104 homeless) and Faro, with 107 (64 homeless).

In Lagos, 97 cases of homeless people were identified (85 of which were homeless), and in Vila Real de Santo António 44 people (39 homeless).

Fábio Simão explained that the project is being developed in the municipalities of the Algarve that already have Homeless Planning and Intervention Centers (NPISA), with homeless people being those who are in temporary accommodation or are living on the street.

According to the coordinator of the project for social inclusion, the main cause of the constant increase in people without housing is the high cost of rent in the Algarve, in addition to family breakdown, drug and alcohol dependence and migratory phenomena.

Entities involved in the project are the Movement to Support AIDS Problems (MAPS), Drug Addicts Help Group (GATO), Homeless Support Center (CASA), Drug Addicts Support Group (GRATO) and Family Planning Association (APF), being financed by community funds.

According to Fábio Simão, LEGOS “initially aimed to support 593 people," when it was set up in 2021, a number that was "largely exceeded, having reached 1134 people at the end of 2023”.

The LEGOS 2.0 project will receive a total of 1.2 million euros until the end of 2026, "to reinforce the teams, keep up tp date figures on the number of homeless people in the municipalities, to connect all housing responses and street teams, working together to achieve automation and integration”, said Fábio Simão.

“Putting all the pieces together, because one alone doesn’t do anything, we are getting the network to work, which is the most important thing”, he concluded.

 Photo courtesy of Depositphotos.com

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