Alicante City’s homeless are moving to neighbouring Elche to avoid fines

CARITAS ELCHE: Mariano Valero supporting the charity’s recent protest Photo credit: Elche city hall

ALICANTE CITY byelaws introduced seven months ago took a tough line with prostitution and rough sleepers.

The new regulations, which introduced fines for both, produced the desired effect and while prostitution continues, it is hidden from view.  Fewer homeless are now seen sleeping in the city centre and many have moved on to neighbouring Elche.

Mariano Valera, Elche’s Social Rights councillor, condemned the Alicante City law, approved with the votes of the Partido Popular, Ciudadanos and Vox parties, as “shameful” when it came into force.

Valera recently confirmed the presence in Elche of many Alicante homeless, lamenting that people who had to sleep on the streets should be “criminalised” with fines.

“This municipality is attending to all the new cases, providing the care they needed,” the councillor said. “Many have addictions to drugs or alcohol while others have mental health problems.”

Since 2020, Elche city hall has kept a census of the all homeless detected by Social Services, Caritas and the Red Cross, Valera said, revealing that 439 people received attention between January and late October from Caritas, Social Services and Elche Acoge.

 

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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