In Porto, dozens of people are rallying for a “permanent solution” for the city’s homeless population.

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Dozens of people gathered today in front of the City Hall in Porto to demand that the local government come up with a “permanent solution” for the 15 people who were living in the building on Rua 31 de Janeiro that collapsed the previous week.

At least four of the fifteen people who were forced out of their homes as a result of the building that partially collapsed on Rua 31 de Janeiro were among the numerous people who took part in the demonstration.

In Porto, dozens of people are rallying for a “permanent solution” for the city’s homeless population.
Dozens of people gathered today in front of the City Hall in Porto to demand that the local government come up with a “permanent solution” for the 15 people who were living in the building on Rua 31 de Janeiro that collapsed the previous week.

At least four of the fifteen people who were forced out of their homes as a result of the building that partially collapsed on Rua 31 de Janeiro were among the numerous people who took part in the demonstration.

In his comments to the media, Alexandre Viana, a representative of the organization Habitaco Hoje, explained that the purpose of the demonstration is to “demand a responsibility” that they feel to be the responsibility of the municipality: “give a lasting response to the residents.”

“In addition, the residents have additional kinds of demands,” he stated; “they want to recover the property they lost; those who can’t recover ask for compensation for losses, through the establishment of legal responsibility for the accident.” “In addition, the residents have other types of demands”

Alexandre Viana said that of the 15 residents, nine are housed at the Seminary of the Bom Pastor, in Ermesinde, and that six “arranged solutions through the support network and relationship with their employers,” denying the statements of the mayor of Porto, that six residents had given up the process of monitoring. Viana accused the Porto City Council of having “lied since Friday.”

“The solution that was arranged at the Bom Pastor Seminary in Ermesinde was through direct communication with the Diocese of Porto. Unfortunately, it does not service six of these individuals for the very simple reason that they work past midnight, and the seminary closes its doors at midnight. “The seminary is unable to take them in at this time,” he said.

Alexandre Viana further mentioned that the local citizen who had to be hospitalized as a result of the accident “left the hospital at dawn barefooted to the street because he was not signaled.”

Alexandre Viana responded to a question concerning the three people that the City Hall of Porto is keeping an eye on by stating that “the responsibility for giving a more lasting solution is the responsibility of the City Hall of Porto through the Service of Attendance and Social Monitoring (SAAS).”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t follow what you mean when you say that the Porto City Council is just responsible for finding a solution for three people. We are here today to demand that the City Hall of Porto is held responsible for finding a solution for the 15 persons who were displaced as a result of this accident. “He said that we are here to urge that the City Hall of Porto be held responsible.

Rui Moreira, the mayor of the city, stated today in an interview  that the Municipality of Porto is responsible for three of the 15 people who have been relocated as a result of the incident.

“There are three that, in point of fact, presented themselves today. They were sent to our SAAS [Service of Attendance and Social Monitoring], of the Municipality of Porto, and I believe that they are still in a meeting. And these three are our areas of expertise, so we will automatically find a solution to the problem,” Rui Moreira explained.

In contrast to what had occurred up until Monday, the independent leader of the Porto City Council has acknowledged that official contacts from the Social Security Administration have just been received by the municipal services as recently as today.

After the disaster, a total of 15 people made requests for housing, and according to Rui Moreira, “all are different situations” for each of them.

“There are six people who have given up the follow-up process, either because they have or relatives or for some other reason, they say they don’t want any kind of referral,” the mayor added. “Either because they have or relatives or for some other reason, they say they don’t want any kind of referral.”

According to Rui Moreira, the Seminary of the Good Shepherd has taken in a total of nine applications. “Of these nine applicants,” he says, “there are three who are being accompanied by the SAAS of Vila Nova de Gaia” and “three who are in illegal situation and are accompanied by the appropriate structure.”

“The rest, what we have seen is an attempt to take advantage of a group of activists linked to the Left Bloc,” as well as “some attempt to condition what is the normal functioning of our services,” as well as Social Security and other organizations, considered Rui Moreira.

Rui Moreira also stated that the association Habitaco Hoje desired “to participate in the meeting [with the homeless], but has no representation” to do so. He explained that this was due to the fact that “these are confidential issues that must be addressed in interviews with the people themselves.”

The City Council of Gaia has informed today that it has been contacted by the National Line of Social Emergency (LNES) to monitor three of the 15 homeless individuals, and that from Thursday, they will be accompanied by municipal services.

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