We see it: the current social situation, combined with the energy crisis, is making more and more people insecure. One in four families in Belgium lives in poverty. The essential mission of the Belgian Red Cross is to offer unconditional support to all people in a vulnerable situation, regardless of their administrative status, age, gender, religion or origin.
Thanks to its network of local entities present throughout Wallonia and Brussels, the Belgian Red Cross provides essential assistance all year round to those who need it most. During the winter period, this aid is reinforced everywhere, “even if we no longer speak of a winter plan, since our activities are really needed all year round,” explains Nancy Ferroni, spokesperson for the Red Cross.
+27% in Brussels
The fate of homeless people, regardless of their origin, whether they are migrant or not, is a particular concern for the teams of the Belgian Red Cross. Between 2018 and 2021, the number of homeless people has increased by 27% in Brussels alone.
In 2021, according to the latest censuses under the auspices of the King Baudouin Foundation, there were 5,313 homeless people on the streets, including more than 900 children. It is by far the city in Belgium with the highest number of homeless people. That is four times as many as in Charleroi and Namur, which are in second and third place.
13 teams on tour
Throughout Belgium, 1,500 Red Cross volunteers are committed to this fight throughout the year. There are 300 in Brussels alone. Street tours are organized every week: 13 teams take turns through the streets of the capital.
Nearly 50,000 day receptions were run by the Belgian Red Cross, more than 250,000 were in the heating chambers and “soup bars” in winter. Finally, 76,650 overnight stays were recorded in reception centres.