Several municipal employees are criticising the current framework for handling the homeless and have called for greater assistance from the government, reports RÚV.
Currently Reykjavík City covers all expenses involved in the care of the nation’s homeless and chairman of the city’s welfare committee, Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, told RÚV that there was a need share the responsibility with other municipalities.
Chairman of the Association of Icelandic Municipalities (Sambandi íslenskra sveitarfélaga), Halldór Halldórsson, has come out in agreement and confirmed that the issue has been discussed preliminarily and may be put on the docket for further discussion.
In addition to sharing the financial cost of caring for Iceland’s homeless, social worker Gyða Hjartardóttir, who also works for the Association of Icelandic Municipalities, pointed out that laws stipulating requirements for care need to be reviewed. “What [reviewing laws that set conditions for care] would mean in practice is that we would be able to assist the people in front of us, ” Gyða said. “That there isn’t such demand that this group of people go to rehab or that their blood is free of alcohol or drugs [just to get some help].”