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Tehran Homeless Shelters Under Strain

Iran--Shelter for homeless people in Tehran
Iran--Shelter for homeless people in Tehran

An adviser to the Mayor of Tehran and the Head of the Municipality's Information Center and the International Office, Gholam-Hossein Mohammadi, reports that the number of homeless people visiting shelters in the Iranian capital city has significantly increased in recent weeks.

Speaking on Saturday, Mohammadi said, "Last year we had about 490,000 people staying in Tehran's shelters, and it is predicted that the number will increase to 700,000 people in the current year."

The head of the Social Services Organization of Tehran Municipality, Malek Hosseini, also announced on October 21 that the number of women sleeping in the warm-shelters in Tehran had increased by 20% in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year starting in March 20, 2020, compared with the same period last year.

According to Hosseini, the average number of women visiting homeless shelters was 130 per night. "In the first seven months of the current Iranian year, 1399, the number of women visiting the facilities reached 27,101, while it was 22,715 in the same period last year," he said.

Earlier in April, Hosseini had lamented that the shelters in Tehran were under tremendous strain as the number of their residents had significantly gone up due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Homeless people in Iran are referred to as "carton-khab," a Persian term for the people who sleep in cardboard.

On May 23, a government-linked expert, Mohammad Reza Mahboubfar, noted an unprecedented increase in the homeless population in Iran, including 7.6 million people around cemeteries, some sleeping in empty graves.

Last week, a Welfare Organization official in Karaj, west of Tehran, told the state-run news agency, YJC, that "cardboard sleepers" had increased in the city.