Initiative against poverty and homelessness in Greece

Program support
The fiscal crisis in Greece has resulted in a sudden and dramatic increase in poverty levels across the country. The total population receiving food and other types of aid (shelter, clothing, school supplies, and medical assistance) in Athens is rising at an alarming rate. Despite high levels of home ownership in Greece, the country is also experiencing sharp increases in homelessness. 

The Foundation’s initiative focuses on the region of Attica and the city of Athens and adopts a tripartite approach. The duration of the program in its initial pilot stage is one year. The initiative will focus on extensive and carefully drafted evaluation mechanisms, and on potential collaborations between NGOs (both nationally and internationally), as well as between the private sector and local communities. In planning this initiative, the Foundation has invested heavily and participated extensively in discussions with many of our global partners (mainly in the US), who are proven leaders in their respective fields, including  Common Ground Community Solutions, Bronx Works, Coalition for the Homeless, City Harvest, Feeding America and Food Bank NYC, as well as the Ford Foundation and the Aspen Institute. 

The Initiative axes are:

(a) A pilot program of Social Housing, aiming to prevent homelessness, in collaboration with Praksis. The program will focus on needs-specific support, with the emphasis on financial assistance, which will allow the families to maintain their financial independence and consequently their homes. The program will include assistance with home security and additional aid (food, clothing etc.), throughout this time period.

(b) The creation of three Day Care Centers for the homeless, in selected, underprivileged areas of Attica. These shelters will provide relief support and rehabilitation assistance for the homeless and other impoverished populations. Support at the Center will include hot meals, washing facilities, sleeping bags and hygiene kits, an extensive range of targeted social services, including medical, psychological and skill building/employment support, as well as accessibility to a network of related services around town. The program also includes a significant street work component to reach homeless persons in need across the city. 

(c) The support of a Food Aid program, through collaboration with the food bank Artos-Drassi. The program will include the extension of the Artos-Drassi services by means of collaborations with farmers and super markets, the distribution of food items to families in need in selected areas in Attica, as well as the support of a network of soup kitchens, which face severe difficulties. The program also includes an educational and training component for unskilled young adults in one of the most impoverished areas of Attica.