segunda-feira, 24 de maio de 2010

Not only flowers at Flower Street

This Sunday I walked the entire length of the Flower Street because I heard it was fully featured with flowers and elements of communication (yellow and green), in allusion to the achievements of Brazil in World Cups. It was quite nice actually, as I will show in coming posts.

One situation however caught my attention and I must say that caused some discomfort. In some parts of the street, groups of homeless people occupied parts of the sidewalk and one of them was a little hostile (they want no photographs).

A research published in 2008 by the Ministry of Social Development, reported that 2,776 people lived on the streets of Curitiba. This research, conducted in late 2007, was applied to people living in public spaces, abandoned buildings, churches, shelters and hostels. According to the survey, almost 90% is not supported by government programs, but 72% of them exerted some paid work (the most cited activity was the collection of material for recycling). Regarding the reasons for being on the streets, the major reasons were: involvement with drugs, including alcohol (36%), unemployment (30%) and family conflicts (29%). At that time the Foundation for Social Action (FAS) of the City of Curitiba didn’t agree with those numbers, because at that time they have conducted themselves a research that pointed a population of 1,100 people living under these conditions on the streets of Curitiba. The FAS has programs for this population aiming their literacy and professional training and also circulates through the streets of Curitiba, collecting and taking homeless to the shelters.

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