In the Schouwbroek area in Strijp, great concern is rising about the arrival of a shelter for the homeless on Klipperstraat, right next to the Trudo school.
A lot of misunderstanding is growing in the neighbourhood about the decision to designate the gym for the homeless shelter. “In the middle of a residential area, near a school and a shopping mall? How can that be the choice?”, a local resident says. “I’m in favour of providing the homeless a good shelter, but this seems like the worst possible choice.”
Much criticism is also directed at the way the municipality informed the neighbourhood about the decision. Residents in the block of around 100 houses directly around the shelter received a mailed letter. Other neighbouring households from which many children attend the school, had to find out by themselves.
Trudo school’s Director, Kirsten Tijssens, supports the municipality in providing shelter for the homeless. She was informed of the decision last Friday and feels overwhelmed: “We immediately called the municipality. After all, what’s to be done with our sports lessons? How long will the gym remain in use in this way? Is there still a possibility of another place in the city? I’d have preferred to be informed in advance”, says Tijssens.
Municipality: the building is guarded constantly
The municipality responded that, due to pressure from the corona crisis, they were looking for a suitable, available location within the Ring for the homeless. “The homeless can stay here at a safe distance from each other 24 hours a day. The building’s constantly guarded by security. There are arrangements so city surveillance and police can act quickly if necessary”.
To prevent the children and the homeless running into each other, the Trudo school is considering closing the entrance on Klipperstraat. The school can still use the entrance on Trudostraat.