Milan prepares winter emergency plan

Up to 2,700 beds for Milan's homeless.

As temperatures drop and the nights get longer, and migrants transit through Milan on their way north, city hall has announced that some 2,700 beds are being prepared for the homeless.

A recent survey carried out by the city counted around 2,300 people sleeping rough on the streets. Agreements with non-profit organisations, and the conversion of city property used up to now for other purposes, have made enough beds available.

The emergency plan is financed by over €1.3m, of which the state has provided €340,000, said councillor for social policy Pierfrancesco Maran.

The plan covers distribution of meals and medicines in cooperation with the already existing food banks and medicine banks, as well as protection and prevention work through the state medical service. Mobile health-care units are deployed around the city.

City hall will also help finance private organisations taking care of the needy. Funds have been made available not only for night emergencies, but also for daylight initiatives to help the homeless.

The plan started on Saturday 24 October, when sleeping bags, woollen blankets and winter clothing were collected from gazebos around the city.