Since the 23rd of February, when it stepped up its winter activity in response to the bitterly cold weather that has swept across Belgium in recent weeks, the Red Cross has assisted more than a thousand persons. The association’s winter plan will continue until the 31st of March. In Brussels, Red Cross teams did daily rounds to check up on homeless persons. While there are enough places in night shelters, the Red Cross is in contact with 220 persons who choose to remain on the streets, the organization said in a press release. The day shelter set up by the Public Social Assistance Centre (CPAS) at the Schaerbeek Chauffour (Cooking Room) was extended to 1700 hours (5p.m.) and has been taking in 150 persons daily. The Haren night shelter, which has been hosting 340 homeless persons for three weeks now, will remain operational around the clock until the 31st of March, the Red Cross recalls. A shelter is also organized on Saturdays and Sundays from 0900 hours to 1700 hours at Rue Général Tombeur in Etterbeek.
In Liège Province, 281 persons were assisted between the 23rd of February and Friday last at the Verviers soup kitchen. Hot meals, 70 litres of soup, and 30 quilts were shared out to homeless persons sleeping outdoors, under tents or in inadequate housing. A reception centre/soup kitchen was also set up exceptionally in Herstal, from 1000 hours to 1300 hours each day, receiving about 15 visits last week.
In Angleur, the Red Cross House beefed up its reception capacity and about 400 persons went there between Monday and Friday last week,
The Red Cross was also active in Hainaut, with a mobile reception centre present every night at the Place Carbonnelle (Carbonnelle Square) in Tournai. In Charleroi, about 50 greatcoats and 60 blankets were distributed in a night shelter, and between 15 and 25 people without fixed abodes were taken each night to shelters in Gilly. In Mons, thirty blankets were given to the needy.
And in Namur, the Jambes day shelter has been hosting 37 persons since Sunday, the 25th of February and about 15 packages of warm clothing have been handed out. Fifteen persons have also been given shelter each night in Arlon thanks to an evening reception centre.