New homeless support center in Olhão has already started to take people off the street

There was already a case of success even before the official creation of the NPISA

Archive Photo

Olhão has already taken a person off the street and, more importantly, has “taken the street” from that person. 61 are missing. The Homeless Planning and Intervention Center (NPISA) in Olhão, a new social response, is already in operation and has even begun to bear fruit even before it was formally created.

The protocol for the constitution of the NPISA of Olhão was signed at the beginning of June, in a ceremony that brought together the many partners of this structure, from the beginning the City Council, but also the Social Security, the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training, the ARS Algarve, the MAPS, ACASO, the security forces and the Public Ministry, among other entities.

But, in practice, the mission of the nucleus had already begun to be fulfilled, he revealed to the Sul Informação Elsa Parreira, vice president of the municipality and councilor responsible for Social Action.

«We have a successful case, which is currently working in the Chamber. One of the homeless people we mentioned applied for a vacancy, we integrated him into our services, he is on our staff and he also already has a house », he revealed.

“Therefore, it is 100% integrated into society. We've already taken him off the street and we've already taken him off the street, by giving him a chance,” he said.


Elsa Parreira – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


António Pina, mayor of Olhão, for his part, told our newspaper that the first concern was to find out exactly how big the problem is.

“A survey was carried out last year before we went ahead with this proposal. There are 62 homeless people in the municipality of Olhão”, he revealed.

«This is the beginning, the first step. First, we wanted to identify the people and do some characterization. From here, we want to work together to recover them”, he added.

The success story that has already been recorded is a victory, but we must “try to do the same with others. But, there it is, they have to want to get off the street”.


António Pina – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


The response to be given by NPISA to homeless people who were identified in Olhão is transversal and multidisciplinary.

Health, physical and mental issues, helping to create life projects and reception and accommodation solutions are some of the ones that will be covered.

“Shared apartments are a goal. But this is a social offer that may serve some, but not all. This is already a second step. First, people have to be available to get out of homelessness. Because most people who live on the street do so by choice», stressed António Pina.

“These people are misfits in society, they don't want to have rules. Many want to be invisible. But there are also many who just need a hand to be reached, to help”, considered Elsa Parreira.

«If we save one, we are already succeeding. But it is a work that we are doing, so to speak, in the dark, without showing what is being done. Because we don't have to be exposing these people to society, because, many times, it was society that rejected them», concluded the vice-mayor of Olhão.


Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação