The Social Services of the Barcelona City Council distributed, in 2020, a total of 46.5 million euros in financial aid to people affected by the impact of the covid, of which 24 were used to exclusively cover emergency accommodation expenses in pensions, hostels and hotels, as well as the payment of housing rentals. This figure represents an increase of 126% compared to 2019. The Commissioner of Social Action, Sonia Fuertes, has taken stock this morning of the activity of Social Services, which last year responded to a total of 88,000 people, one record figure and that represents an increase of 11% compared to 2019.
The aforementioned item of 46.5 million euros (140% more than in 2019), in addition to accommodation costs, includes food programs. This section has been the one that has grown the most in percentage terms because if in 2019 7,736 benefits were processed, worth 1.2 million euros, last year they were 28,213 for 6.4 million, 433% more.
In order to respond and reduce the waiting time of the citizens most affected by the covid in the 40 Social Services centers distributed throughout the city, the City Council hired, as of last October, 28 new professionals raising the staff to the 348 workers. The waiting time to receive a first care has passed from 21 to 15 days.
Fuertes stressed that before the covid there were already many people who subsisted in precarious conditions due to the low quality of employment, the irregular administrative situation in which thousands of immigrants find themselves, the difficult access to housing and “the lack of of a clear income guarantee policy ”. All this fertile ground to fall into absolute poverty.
One of the most touched profiles is that of a migrant woman. In fact, of the 88,375 people who went through Social Services in 2020, 64% were women. Nou Barris, Ciutat Vella and Montjuïc are the districts in which more attention was provided, in person or at home. Likewise, Fuertes highlighted that 32% of the citizens who were helped had never resorted to Social Services or had not required support for more than a year.
To serve 88,375 people
In October, 28 new professionals were incorporated into Social Services, increasing the workforce to 348 workers