Milan to report homeless as freeze bites

320 beds available for people in need.

As temperatures plunge across the country, with forecasts of -5°C in coming days, Milan’s city authorities have asked residents to call and report any homeless people they spot sleeping on the streets.

The phone numbers 02 88447 645 up to -649 are now being staffed from 08.30 to 24.00 to accept calls and mobilise the emergency services. The social policies department of city hall says this simple gesture can be enough to save the life of somebody forced to live on the streets.

Some 15 structures with 2,780 beds have been set up across the city. This is the highest number ever prepared in Milan, around twice as many as in 2010. One of these structures is also equipped to welcome homeless persons living with a four-legged friend, as many of them do. Around 320 beds are still available.

There are also seven mobile units distributing blankets, sleeping bags and food.

These facilities are in addition to the 3,500 beds being made available in Milan to refugees and asylum seekers.