Home News and articles Results of the census of homeless people: We will keep fighting

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Results of the census of homeless people: We will keep fighting


People who sleep on the street do so on average for three to four years. The majority, more than 75%, have a medium or high degree of vulnerability. Four of every ten people have received emergency medical attention in the last six months. And more than 31% of homeless people report that they have been victims of verbal or physical abuse.

This is just some of the data from the census of homeless people, organised for the second year running by the Arrels Foundation. The census was carried out over three nights on the streets of Barcelona, during which 400 volunteers interviewed a total of 358 people.

The results demonstrate that people who live on the streets are exposed to a number of risks to their health—in just one year the number of homeless people needing emergency medical attention has doubled, and 18.7% of those interviewed suffer with a high degree of vulnerability.


The risks to people who sleep on the streets include safety; 31.6% of people interviewed report that they have been victims of verbal and physical abuse, a percentage that increases to 40% in the case of women, and 60% for vulnerable people.


This is just a brief summary of the results obtained during the census of homeless people, figures that you can see in detail in the report produced by the Arrels Foundation. The results demonstrate the importance of carrying out a census like this in order to effectively tackle the problem of homelessness, backed up by qualitative information.

A European initiative

This is the second year that the Arrels Foundation has carried out the census of homeless people. It’s an initiative that took place days after the count organised by the Xarxa d’Atenció a Persones Sense Llar (Network for the Care of the Homeless), which confirmed that 1,026 people sleep on the streets of Barcelona every night. The census initiative is part of the European End Street Homelessness Campaign, promoted by a British organisation—the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF)—whose main objective is to end street homelessness in Europe before 2020.

Homelessness, unfortunately, is on the rise. This should not stop us; we must continue with initiative like the census, or new ones like the recently created Homelessness Board in Badalona. Joining our efforts, with the collaboration of everyone, we’ll put an end to homelessness.

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