Homelessness in Switzerland

I saw this article today about rising homelessness in Switzerland.

I was surprised to hear Switzerland described as a welfare state, but if there are really only about 2000 homeless in Switzerland, then there should be sufficient resources to take care of them, right? After all, we just voted in a huge payout for pensioners and a much smaller amount would be needed to tackle homelessness.


I think in the vast majority of Western countries notwithstanding the USA homelessness is not a matter of resources or money. I’ve spoken to a lot of homeless people in Spain and offered them various things and they’ve been very happy to accept food clothing and even money but one alpha many things more than that they always declined psychologically I think many homeless people are homeless because they can’t mentally deal with a lot of the strains of modern life the most of us take for granted

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That second sentence doesn’t make any sense to me. What do you mean by ‘one alpha many things’?

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Well, the article mentions a shortage of housing for the homeless. This is something which seems possible to solve.

I think it’s also about the right kind of housing/services complex that together addresses the very specific needs that are particularly pronounced among the homeless like drug and alcohol addiction and mental health. Humanity is on a spectrum and civilization is incredibly complex and there will always be people who require much more thoughtful care than just accomodation.

It’s a tough problem. I would support people who contributed economically and are willing to do so, but once you put in place good support to all homeless people it’ll work like a magnet for the homeless from all around EU.

The article states that 61% of the homeless have “unregulated status”. That’s really shallow statistic. We don’t know how many of them landed on the street in Switzerland, as opposed to moving here homeless.Switzerland could have prevented this better. I remember a guy hanging around on FB groups, desperately looking for any income. However, he couldn’t make ends meet and applied for social assistance. He was immediately sent a letter that his B residence permit had been canceled due to insufficient funds and asked to leave Switzerland within two weeks. I bet that for many people in financial distress there is no home to return to. Switzerland takes the easiest route, getting rid of such people, when just a few months of providing minimal assistance could have potentially saved this man’s life.

On the other hand, as responsible adults, we should have emergency funds that proivde a few months of ‘minimal living’ so that we are self-reliant.

Sadly that does not always work. A minimum wage job won’t give you enough to put away for a rainy day and rising costs mean most people live payday to pay day.

What is always surprising me, there are people who just get used to living from payday to payday, some even manage to spend most of their income within half of the month, then grind their teeth until next pay check. Obviously it’s not that easy, but even if it takes a few years (to complete education, gain experience) eventually it pays off for the rest of the life. Some people just accept their “fate” of doing low paid job, and give up/don’t care.

For sure it won’t be possible for everybody, but most jobs in Switzerland seem decently paid.