NGOs signed an open letter to City Hall supporting the continuation of a homeless room-rental scheme at four Prague hotels and hostels. This month, it will halt serving amid the coronavirus epidemic. Two-year NGO worker Elika Konvková worked there. She said two new shelters may be too tiny for 60 people.

During the epidemic, these hotels opened. First major organised attempt, I suppose. Before hotels, City Hall wasn’t pro-housing.

“Hotel guests may also get social services. Social workers greet hotel guests. This is a great way to help the homeless focus on what they desire.

Private owners run other homeless shelters, not the city. The second kind of accommodation has exorbitant rents and little social aid.

“These municipal asylums may help, but city leaders must assure adequate room for everyone.

Since it opened, hundreds have stayed in hotels. Dangerous what?

“First, City Hall agreed that homeless housing in this form — hotels and hostels originally built for guests but converted to house the homeless – would end in June 2022. Prague developed two hotel asylums.

“These new centres are understaffed.” 60 people might be homeless by month’s end. Their vulnerability horrifies us. Many didn’t have time to restore their health, and returning to the streets may be dangerous.

“This initiative showed me how many homeless people obtained housing. Improved. The work may be squandered. This programme includes social work like job placement and doctor visits. The conclusion would be sad.

“Yes. Two years as a hotel social worker. I’ve heard amazing stories.

Our hotel only accepts women and transsexual people, therefore I met homeless ladies. I encountered 15-year-homeless women. Motel comforted them. They relaxed and boosted health.

Living alone on the street is terrible, say these women. These women gradually healed and refocused. Others required medical treatment or a job.

“71 women stayed at our hotel recently. 34 and 15 women have social and commercial residences. Probably more less apparent things follow. These women’s mental health improves everyday because they are safe and stable. Nobody should be left behind.”

Your group wrote an open letter. City Hall want clarification.

“Yes. As you said, we worked with the Salvation Army and Nadeje to improve housing.

At this point, 60 people at risk of returning to the streets need safe homes.

I think Prague City Hall’s approach to the outbreak was great and should be built upon.

Talking to Prague’s mayor? Response?

“It’s unclear what will happen. Milena Johnová and Adam Zábransk were contacted. Not yet.

“They seem receptive, but we don’t know next moves. Please respond.

“Hotel dwellers are insecure,” he remarked. They don’t know whether asylums have space if they’re relocated.

“City Hall should make a statement and provide these tools.” 

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