Sao Paulo offered shelter at Pedro II subway station to 507 people living on the streets, during the cold nights between last Thursday (Aug. 18) and Wednesday (Aug. 24), according to data released by the state government.

The station is transformed into a shelter whenever the Civil Defense issues a state of alert for temperatures below 10º Celsius, which occurred last weekend.

The place has the usual capacity to shelter only 100 people per night, from 7 pm to 8 am, but it can be expanded up to 400 people, if necessary, São Paulo government explained.

However, this important action is proving to be insufficient. This weekend alone, two homeless people died, possibly due to hypothermia, when a thermal sensation of around 3º Celsius was registered.

Vacancies

The municipality of São Paulo informed that the number of vacancies in shelters in the capital has been growing in the last years. Even so, it cannot meet the needs of the entire population living on the streets, which has grown 31 percent in two years, from 24,344 in 2019 to 31,884 by the end of 2021. São Paulo’s municipal social assistance network has only 18,000 vacancies. And 2,044 additional vacancies have been created during the Low Temperatures Operation.

According to the Municipal Secretariat for Assistance and Social Development, São Paulo has the largest public social assistance network in Latin America designed to serve the homeless population, and initiatives carried out since 2021 have increased the number of new vacancies in shelters by 3,609.

The secretariat has been seeking partnerships that may result in a rapid increase in the network’s service capacity.

Source: Agência Brasil