President Marcelo expects to hear from the Government on Monday a strategy for homelessness

“There is new data, and the new data is that the number of homeless people has been increasing” and that “this weighs heavily”

Photo: Rui Minderico/Lusa

The President of the Republic stated this Saturday that he hopes to hear from the Government, on Monday, its strategy for the integration of homeless people, noting that they have been increasing and that municipal intervention is not enough.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa spoke to journalists at the headquarters of Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome, in Lisbon, where he left purchases he had made in a supermarket and joined the volunteers for some time in sorting the products.

The head of state called for participation in this weekend's food collection campaign, considering that this should be “a social cause for all Portuguese” and that it constitutes “essential support” in the face of poverty and inequalities in the country.

When asked about the problem of homeless people, he said that he will receive on Monday the Minister of the Presidency, António Leitão Amaro, and the President of Lisbon City Council, Carlos Moedas, on this topic.

“I will listen to what the Government's strategy is, how the Government intends to face the situation, since the situation that existed when the Government entered is that the strategy, that is, the political line defined in the past was prolonged until the end of the year to give time to find a different, new strategy”, he stated.

The President of the Republic said that “there is new data, and the new data is that the number of homeless people has been increasing” and that “this weighs heavily”.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa added that to deal with this problem “Lisbon approved a municipal strategy in the City Council and in the Municipal Assembly, but the municipal strategy only works if there is a national strategy”.

“So, on Monday, part of my afternoon, of my day, will be dedicated to the issue of homelessness”, he stressed.

During the visit to the headquarters of the Food Bank, the President of the Republic was accompanied by the president of the institution in Lisbon and at national level, Isabel Jonet, who thanked him for his show of solidarity and appealed to the Portuguese to participate in this campaign and to volunteer.

“If you can give some of your time, volunteer at a supermarket or at your local grocery store,” he said.

According to Isabel Jonet, as of 18pm today, more than 00 tons of food had been collected, to be distributed among 400 partner social solidarity institutions, which will reach “2.400 thousand people who depend on this support in basic products to be able to have a dignified life.”

Previously, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visited, without social media, the Setúbal Food Bank.