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28.08.2007

Homeless in Rome.


Around 7,000 homeless people are currently sleeping on the streets of Rome, according to city council estimates. This shows an increase of 3,000 people on the streets since 2003, based on figures from the Catholic relief, development and social service organization Caritas. However, Caritas director Guerino Di Tora says the actual number of the cityís homeless is likely to be much higher than the council figure due to the difficulty of obtaining a realistic estimate. Around 55 per cent of Romeís homeless live in the area comprising the historic centre, Flaminio, Parioli, Pinciano, Salario, Trieste, Borgo and Prati, while others choose areas around the Tiburtina, Tuscolana and Ostiense railway stations. Over 65 per cent of the homeless are over 36 years old, and 75 per cent are men, according to Caritas. The city council, which runs a 24-hour social operations room to help those living on the streets, says some 75 per cent of the people who have come to ask for advice are of foreign nationality with Romanians the largest group (40 per cent) followed by the Polish (7 per cent) and the Ukranians (5 per cent).

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