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Intersectionality between Homelessness and Access to Healthcare

During the scope of community outreach, testing activities, and training to refugee and migrant communities in the context of the Mi-Health HIV Partnership. We encountered a lot of people living in vicarious settings. At least at first glance, that’s how it felt and thought. Outreach after outreach we met more and more people living rough. Then we started questioning ourselves as to what is the definition of homelessness. We were concerned and wanted to learn more about the situation and that is when we joined the Participation Foundation for Homelessness meetings in an effort to learn further about the extent of homelessness in Athens and to learn new ways to navigate and link our beneficiaries to services. The Participation Foundation for Homelessness is a project implemented within the framework of the Active Citizens fund program, with the implementing body the Association "PRAKSIS - Development Programs of Social Support and Medical Cooperation" and partners with the non-profit organization Ithaca and the AMKE "Society for the Study of Human Sciences". Through these projects, we further extended our sensitization and testing activities to the partners and got referrals of people living with HIV to our services. We shared our insight on the invisible homeless individuals we saw in the communities and as a result, we managed to do a donation drive in collaboration with the French-speaking refugee and migrant communities in Athens. With the intent to identify and locate these invisible populations within the broader community and offer them some food and basic

health supplies.

We coordinated and planned these donation activities in close collaboration with the community leaders and members. We encouraged them to try to gather data on this forgotten and unseen population. The donation drive was the first time the communities cataloged the needs of these vulnerable populations and now have actual data on the number of people living rough, their needs, and in which conditions and where they can be found. These were minors, adult migrants, and refugees forced to live rough in the streets. It was difficult for us to identify at that moment many people of African descent living rough in the streets. We asked around and we were informed they didn’t feel safe sleeping in the streets due to the fear of being either arrested or racially discriminated upon.


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