GringoPost | Ecuador: Homeless initiatives

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Homeless initiatives

Prior to this emergency, most of those who we consider to be the homeless here in Cuenca were able to survive by selling things on the streets. Many of them stayed in cheap hotels for $5 per night or slept in the bus terminal or on park benches. The queda has changed all of this, leaving them desperate and struggling to survive.

Here at Hogar de Esperanza, we have taken in 8 of them who we felt could benefit from our programs. The city has also set up a shelter which currently houses about 20 homeless individuals, and we support this initiative by providing food to the shelter from our food bank.

Many others have nowhere to go, so are sleeping under the bridges along the rivers. With increasing desperation, crime is seriously on the rise and we have heard of stabbings and violence. We have also heard of one death, but have not been able to confirm it. We met with a some of them today at the foundation to discuss what they needed support with to improve their current conditions and help to reduce or eliminate the violence. Many of them are addicts, and suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues. Money is not a solution, so we have offered to provide them with food, but subject to conditions – one being that they keep their living areas clean, properly collecting and disposing of any garbage. We already feed many of them on a daily basis when they come by the foundation desperate, hungry and asking for a hot meal.

We strongly warn expats not to go to the river or try to help them alone. We cannot stress enough that it is a very dangerous situation and is only getting worse as tensions continue to rise. If you would like to help the homeless, or get involved with another program supporting those in need right now, please contact us. To make a contribution in support of our work, you can donate online at: If you prefer to make a donation through bank transfer, please contact us for the account information. We can also arrange for pick-ups of cash or in-kind donations (clothes, household items, etc.). Thank you for your continued support, helping us to help those most vulnerable right now during this crisis.

Garry Vatcher: 099 094 7611. Call after: 6 AM.

City: Cuenca