Planned homeless shelter may be moved Skip to content

Planned homeless shelter may be moved

Mayor of Reykjavík Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson met yesterday with the residents of Njálsgata in downtown Reykjavík, who have voiced objections to the city’s plans for establishing a homeless shelter on the street, which may now be moved.

After the meeting it was concluded that a committee composed of Njálsgata’s residents and employees of Reykjavík City would find a joint solution to the disagreement, Fréttabladid reports.

“We have an obligation to find a home for these individuals because they are people, just like us,” the Mayor said at the meeting. “These people have to live somewhere.”

Head of Reykjavík City Welfare Committee Jórunn Frímannsdóttir pointed out that if plans for a homeless shelter on Njálsgata were abandoned, the committee would have to go back to the beginning stages of planning a shelter for the homeless.

Frímannsdóttir emphasized a homeless shelter could not be established in an industrial area and that it had to be located centrally in the city. She said it was difficult to find a location for such a shelter because although residents in Reykjavík agreed homeless people should be given aid, no one wants a homeless shelter in their neighborhood.

Thorsteinn H. Ástrádsson, a Njálsgata resident, pointed out that the planned shelter would be located only 15 meters away from a kindergarten and said he worried that inhabitants of the shelter could be abusing drugs and prove dangerous to the children.

Ástrádsson added there were already many state-subsidized apartments on Njálsgata and stated a homeless shelter would further devalue the property on the street.

About 100 Njálsgata residents and residents of nearby streets have objected to Reykjavík City’s plans for establishing a homeless shelter in the neighborhood.

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