By Eloise Horsfield
IT is one of Europe’s glitziest holiday resorts, famous for its upmarket tourism and fine sandy beaches.
Yet, Marbella urgently needs a homeless hostal, local charities have insisted.
“We need a shelter urgently,” Jeronimo Jimenez from the Red Cross told the Olive Press.
“People are losing their jobs, and we are seeing more and more homeless people of all nationalities including Moroccan and Spanish on the streets – all sorts.”
He revealed that his branch had seen the numbers of families needing charitable handouts almost double in just one year.
In 2011, Marbella Red Cross provided 180 families with food parcels, while this year the figure will be nearer 300.
“I go out most nights with a car to give out food and the numbers of homeless are clearly rising,” he added.
While official town hall figures claim only 11 people are sleeping rough in the town, other charities such as Caritas insist the figure is at least 100.
The local IU party is now supporting calls for a shelter to be set up.
But local councillor Miguel Diaz insists that previous calls to the ruling PP mayor have fallen on deaf ears.
“We used to have a shelter in Marbella, but it closed in 2000,” he said. “We have requested a new one now, but the PP administration has rejected it.”
Town hall social welfare councillor Manuel Cardena defended the objection, insisting a shelter was not needed.
“We are looking for definitive solutions and not temporary ones which increase the risk of social exclusion,” he said.