The emergency shelter for homeless people can accommodate a total of 90 homeless people. As of Thursday evening, some forty to fifty homeless people will take up residence in this temporary and much-discussed emergency shelter. It is on Kanaaldijk.
It is certainly not a three-star accommodation. Inside it also looks rather austere: small rooms for two people, each equipped with a stretcher, two chairs, and a washbasin. It doesn’t get any cozier and it shouldn’t, explains Thijs Eradus of Springplank040. “This place should certainly not look like a hotel. Then tomorrow, all the homeless people in the country will land here. And we have to set up another such shelter next to it. We do provide a proper Christmas. There will be a Christmas meal for the residents.”
This stay is still an improvement over last winter’s emergency shelter, in the Klokgebouw. The ‘dormitory’ there offered too little privacy, was not corona-proof, and the sanitary facilities were also not optimal. Moreover, the homeless people in the neighborhood caused a lot of trouble. On the Kanaaldijk the crowds are fewer, which also reduces the chance of infections. “If someone gets infected now, we can quarantine them more easily,” says Eradus. “Furthermore, we search everyone entering the premise for possible possession of alcohol, drugs or things that threaten security.”
The arrival of the shelter met with a lot of resistance last month from businesses in the area. They learned from the newspaper that the shelter was planned in their “backyard. “Next time, we will do it differently” a spokeswoman announced again. “Those directly involved will be informed at an earlier stage.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.