Zuidas Lives

Temporary shelter for 75 homeless people in Sporthallen Zuid

Starting on Friday, 20 March 2020, the Sporthallen Zuid sports complex is being used to provide temporary shelter to 75 homeless people without residence permits. They are currently living in refugee housing in Westpoort, where there are around 275 people in a single building. Because of the coronavirus, that is an undesirable situation.

The Amsterdam College of Mayor and Alderpersons made the decision on Wednesday, 18 March 2020. All of the 75 homeless are among the group of people who have no valid residence permits. They are mainly male, unsuccessful asylum seekers aged between 20 and 60 years old. They are being supported by volunteers from the Red Cross, assisted by experienced staff from the Salvation Army and the charity HVO-Querido.

Daytime accommodation elsewhere

The Sporthallen Zuid sports complex, in the north-west of Zuidas, is currently being prepared to receive the homeless people. Two rooms are being set up and the centre will open daily at 16.30, closing at 09.30. No accommodation will be provided here during the day when users will go to alternative daytime accommodation elsewhere in the city. There will be additional surveillance and law enforcement in the area. Provisionally, the plan is to use Sporthallen Zuid for this purpose until 6 April 2020.

Two halls are being prepared. There will be field beds on the black mats
Two halls are being prepared. There will be field beds on the black mats Photo: Marcel Steinbach

Understanding

Currently, the accommodation is being prepared to receive the 75 homeless people. Alderperson Rutger Groot-Wassink has notified local residents by letter. In it, he asks for understanding that local residents were not consulted prior to this decision. ‘These are very exceptional circumstances. The course of the epidemic and the speed at which central government has been forced to take measures have compelled us to take immediate action. Public health is our main priority. I ask for your understanding for this unusual state of affairs. The problem we face is unprecedented and calls for concerted efforts from all the people of Amsterdam.’

Do you have any questions?

If so, please contact the daytime coordinator on 06-13278030. You can read the letter from Alderperson Groot Wassink below.

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