CHENNAI: During the lockdown period between March 23 and November 1, as many as 1,446 homeless people have been admitted to government shelter homes across Chennai.
This is more than double the usual admissions, say officials.
“More than 150 homeless persons were admitted every month. Generally, we get admissions anywhere between 50-60. The primary reason can definitely be the pandemic situation that affected many economically and mentally,” said an official from the wing for homeless department in the city corporation.
She added that at least 70 per cent of them are educated.
“The sad part is that most of them have either graduate or postgraduate degrees. They have lost jobs or could not find jobs due to the pandemic and ended up here.”
Admissions of senior citizens increased too.
“Private homes were not allowing new admissions during Covid without a negative certificate. People who could not take care of the elderly in their homes and those suffering financially left them at government homes,” she said.
Presently, the corporation has taken initiative to provide psychiatric therapy to most of the homeless as the pandemic has taken a toll on their mental wellbeing.