180-200 homeless people are in Reykjavík, it is estimated, and much more men than women. Location of a new shelter in 101 Reykjavík will be announced today.
There’s a shelter for men in Þingholtsstræti but only 20 people can stay there at a time, RÚV reports. So far this year, around 120 men have sought permission to stay there but 24 of them been refused a spot, mostly because of lack of space but on occasions because of their behavioural problems.
The number of foreigners seeking shelter in Reykjavík has increased rapidly over the past few years and now one third of homeless people is foreigners.
A Latvian man was found deceased in Klambratún park last week. He had been turned away from a shelter the night before. Police say his death was not suspicious.
The city council will announce today where a new, more spacious shelter will be located downtown, a shelter which can accommodate more than 20 people if needed.
Majority of those who are defined homeless are addicts and many of them also suffer from mental illnesses. Sigtryggur Jónsson, director of the City’s Service Centre downtown and in Hlíðar, told RÚV that a lot of the people are addicted to prescription drugs and that the “old fashioned drunks” are fewer now than before, as most of them also use drugs.
Much more men are homeless than women, although it’s hard to get a hold of how many the women are. “It’s harder to say exactly how many women are homeless because many of them are staying with the men who provide them with drugs and such, so in effect these women don’t really have a home,” Sigtryggur said.