The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, launched the Plan Invierno (Winter Plan) this Wednesday, which will enable support, food and medical care to be provided to people who are homeless.
The initiative is operating a month earlier than planned to help people who are vulnerable because of the health situation caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“15,000 Chileans are currently homeless and it is our duty to give them shelter,” said the President in a statement at La Moneda Palace, after visiting people living on the streets in Santiago.
The President said that the capacity of shelters is to be doubled. They will function 24 hours a day with 80 new places and 1,000 additional beds. Furthermore, healthcare routes have been defined with specialized medical personnel to provide attention to 4,000 people a day.
“We are living in difficult times and there are many people who are vulnerable. Today we are thinking about those who suffer the most: women who are the victims of violence, senior citizens who live alone, chronically sick people, those who live in camps and those who are feeling fear and anguish regarding the future,” said the President. He was accompanied by the Social Development Minister, Sebastián Sichel, and the Mayor of Santiago, Felipe Alessandri.
The President also announced that a bill is being sent to Congress to establish that in certain cases the sanctions for infringing the health regulations will be fulfilled by doing community service, preferably working in healthcare centers and hospitals, and contributing towards protecting the health of everyone.
“The priority and commitment of our Government is to protect the health of all of the people of Chile,” said the President.