Neighborhood divided over arrival of homeless people

Neighbourhood divided over arrival of homeless people
Photo Credit: Studio040

Emotions ran high among residents of De Zuidwester community center in Eindhoven on Wednesday. The news that some nineteen homeless people are moving into the community center hit them hard. “I’m leaving from here,” said one of the neighbors visibly emotional.

Yesterday a letter came to the residents of three locations in Eindhoven. It spoke about homeless people who were coming to live in the Zuidwester on the Cyclamenstraat, the Theresia church on the Carmelitessenstraat, and on the Mathildelaan.

It involves about seventy independent living places. In these places, the homeless can stay temporarily. The authorities guide them during their stay to live as independently as possible. In the inner city, these are people with more complex problems, while in the residential areas, there will be homeless people with relatively fewer problems.

The neighborhood residents are skeptical about this. “What do mild problems mean?” one neighbor wonders aloud. She does not believe the narrative that these people are homeless due to economic reasons. “I’m almost certain they are drug addicts. Shameful that such a group is coming to live across the street nearby a senior apartment. And without consultation, too.”

She is joined by another resident of the apartment complex. “I’m not going to leave it at that. I’m going to organize a protest or a signature campaign,” she responds furiously.

Among people who live farther from the De Zuidwester community center, there is more understanding. “Those people also need to have a roof over their heads.”

My brother was helped
Local residents of the Theresia Church in Strijp also heard the news on Wednesday. There was understanding for the arrival of homeless people, but also a concern. “I am especially afraid of the nuisance it will cause. Hopefully, there will be good supervision,” said a resident of a senior apartment building.

An elderly resident of the same apartment complex supports the initiative. “I also had a brother who was taken care of. He ended up doing well as a result.”

When the homeless people will move in is still unknown. Springplank Foundation hopes it will come around within now and a year.

Source: Studio040

Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.

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