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Monitoring Commission in Homeless Shelter

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, January 15
Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs Davit Sergeenko said a new shelter will correspond to all the modern standards and these shelters will not be seasonal.

Minister Sergeenko, together with the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Davit Narmania presented the minimum standards for the shelter for the vulnerable to the representatives of civil society on January 14.

The document includes the list of necessary preconditions for opening a full-range shelter from food and sanitation norms, to the functions of the staff working at the shelters and other responsibilities that are important for ensuring that the shelters operate under international standards.

The sides attending the presentation summarized the tasks necessary for solving the problem of vulnerable and discussed the strategy for moving towards the long-term model of shelters.

Temporary shelters have been set up throughout several Georgian cities, including Tbilisi since December 11, 2013. However, Minister Sergeenko told Imedi TV that a project with a longer-term solution will now be revealed based on the recommendations of local and international organizations.

Sergeenko said the main problem that happens at the temporary shelters is the irregularity of the behavior of the beneficiaries. The minister said that the beneficiaries cannot follow rules that do not exist. This is why disciplinary violations like usage of alcohol has been the main problem.

A day earlier, Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili and Deputy Healthcare Minister Davit Lomidze, together with Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, visited the homeless shelter on Moscow Avenue in Tbilisi to get familiarized with the situation in the tents, living conditions of the beneficiaries and the sanitary norms.

Around 200 people live at the shelters nowadays, including 5 who are hospitalized. According to the public defender, the situation is pretty much satisfactory.

According to the head of the Social Security Department of the Ministry of Health Gia Kakachia, not only state agencies carry out monitoring of the shelters, but also those within the non-government sector. He said the conditions are satisfactory, and there is not poor sanitation. Patients who need treatment are taken to the hospital, and the ones with chronic diseases are being treated locally.

Minister Narmania said this is just a temporary shelter, so the situation is as good as possible. However, he said anyone who wants can come and check. The minister said those temporary shelters must be converted to permanent ones.