Shelters for the homeless in Eindhoven are overflowing now that it is getting colder

1/2 Paul is homeless and uses a lot of blankets to keep warm (photo: Studio040).

It is getting colder and so homeless people are increasingly looking for a warm place to sleep. But in Eindoven the situation is almost over. Almost all homeless shelters in the city are overcrowded. According to Springplank040, the organization that helps people who are or are at risk of becoming homeless, the question remains how long everyone can be helped. An additional location has already been opened in Meerhoven.

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Paul is homeless and sleeps on the street in Eindhoven. He is one of the few who prefers not to go to a warm bed, even when it is freezing. “I have two sleeping bags here and all kinds of blankets to lie under. This way I don’t get cold,” he says. “The shelter is not for me, with all the crowds and addicted people. I want to feel free.”

But there are also many homeless people who seek out a warm bed when it is freezing at night. Quite a lot, in fact, because the reception locations in Eindhoven can hardly cope anymore. Shelter organization Springplank040 is therefore keeping a close eye on whether everyone can still find shelter if they knock on the door for help.

“We see it slowly getting busier.”

A temporary reception location has been opened in Meerhoven for the near future. There are about 75 sleeping places there. These are reserved for foreigners, often migrant workers, who live on the streets of Eindhoven. They are not entitled to care and shelter in regular shelters. “We see this location slowly becoming busier, now that it is colder,” says Thijs Eradus, director of Springplank040. “We are still strict about the door. If it gets colder than three degrees below zero, we will let everyone in.”

Homeless people who have been living in Eindhoven for some time and are registered can normally go to three shelters in Eindhoven. They are located on Mathildelaan, Bellefroidlaan and Tongelresestraat. But that is now over. “These three locations are overcrowded,” says the director. “No one can reach it anymore, otherwise we will have problems with fire safety, for example.”

“The question is how long we can help everyone.”

Homeless people who register at regular shelters are therefore forwarded to Meerhoven. “This way we can still help everyone. I just don’t know for how long. Now that we see the numbers rising, the question is whether we have enough beds.”

Eradus is therefore looking at an additional reception location, which can be opened when everything is completely full. “Everyone is entitled to a spot if it freezes hard. But if we don’t have enough space, we will have to open another location. We will just arrange that.”

Homeless people in Breda will soon receive special sleeping bags for the winter. Kitty tests it out in the video below:


In Breda, thirty homeless people receive special sleeping bags that allow you to sleep outside in the winter. Here you can read how that works