Hungary’s new homelessness ban which comes into effect on Monday is aimed at saving the lives of rough sleepers, says a government official.
Bence Rétvári, a state secretary at the human resources ministry, said the regulations banning rough sleepers from public area are to prevent homeless people from freezing in public spaces in winter and to help those living in the street find homeless shelters.
The state secretary insisted that “there have always been” enough beds at those facilities. Homeless facilities will help clients to “social services, clothing, (regular) jobs or participation in public works schemes, or training”, adding that “it is obvious that the way out of homelessness is through these temporary shelters”.
Rétvári insists the government is spending 9 billion HUF (28m EUR) on homeless services and is in cooperation with “several hundred” charity organizations.
The state secretary said that the new rules were necessary because “earlier regulations were unsuitable to eliminate homelessness”.
Hajnalka Juhász, MP of the co-ruling Christian Democrats, told a press conference that homeless shelters were “prepared” for the winter season with a total of 19,000 beds, complete with facilities for personal hygiene and health services, 24 hours-a-day.