Homelessness – the state of having no home – is a growing global problem. A general bias about people living on the street is that they haven’t tried hard enough to secure shelter and livelihood. When people start a conversation, they realize that many around the world, including themselves, could be the next to lose their homes. Housing can be seen as one of the basic humans right, but when visiting big cities, you’ll see lots of people living on the street.
The contrast between rich and poor is big in lots of cities. Also in Brussels, the capital of Europe. Where Europe is known as a great place to live and seems like a continent with changes for everyone, but in reality, it’s not that perfect.
According to local news outlets, homelessness increased since the corona pandemic. Since the beginning of 2022 there are around 6000 people living on the streets. This socially vulnerable group is stuck at places and in habits which are hard to change by themselves.
Two Brussel based woman were willing to share their story.
Sophie Slominski lives next to a church close to the center of Brussels. Her and some others, have been living around this area for six years. The church and some volunteering organizations help them with their basic needs.
This place feels like home for her.
Henda Saïdi is currently waiting for some legal paperwork, things she said she find really complicated. “Living on the street is depressing, I feel not good, I feel depressed.”
Henda survived a big car accident. But after this tragic incident she couldn’t work at her previous job.
Things piled up and she ended up on the street. Her place to be is the metro station ‘Porte de Namur’. The place is warm during the night and there are policemen around the entrances. “I feel safe here”, she said. “But normally it’s really dangerous. When people know you it’s ok, but it’s very dangerous with people on drugs and vodka.”
Even if she has one euro, she’s willing to give it to someone on the street who needs it more than her. Right now she’s hoping that she gets help for her health problems as soon as possible and she’s looking for a way to finally get an apartment to live in.