Marshal of the Lower Silesia region in Poland, Cezary Przybylski, took the floor in a CoR plenary debate on homelessness during which he addressed Commissioner Nicolas Schmit on what he referred to as "one of the biggest social issues in many European regions".
Not only is it one of the biggest social issues but it is one of the hardest to solve. Marshal Przybylski, who is also ECR Member, described homelessness as multifaceted with many contributing factors: "Homeless people often suffer from multiple societal problems such as addiction, unemployment and mental health issues making it an extremely challenging problem to find solutions to". A first step in the right direction is making available more social and communal housing and establishing housing programmes, offered the Marshal.
Other important activities to help combat homelessness, in particular to prevent further societal exclusion, is something that the Marshal has been undertaking in the last few years in the region, which is financed by regional operational programme funds: the development of social and professional competences, which help to "counteract the effects of homelessness on people and help them to take up employment", stated the Marshal.
In cooperation with the local government, non-governmental organisations have been helping to deal with the homelessness problem in Lower Silesia. Four projects were undertaken for a total amount of over PLN 8 million. "This just shows how socially important this topic is and why the amount of funds allocated by the EU to this issue is so important", concluded the Marshal.