HomeThemesHomelessPress releases The average number of...

Press Release 26/09/2019


Share facebook Share twitter Share email pdf Product list

The average number of people housed in the network of homeless centres in the Basque Country per day increased by 25.6% in 2018 compared to 2016

The Basque Country allocated 56.2 million euros to this group of people, 19% of total national expenditure and 18.4% more than in 2016

Care for the homeless within the Basque Country social services network in 2018 was provided through a network made up of 276 centres and services that accommodated a daily average of 2,979 people, 25.6% more than in 2016, according to Eustat data. Approximately 722 of those who were accommodated were "homeless" people experiencing more serious housing exclusion. The network was served by 2,583 workers and expenditure amounted to 56.2 million euros, 18.4% more than in 2016.

The network had 3,755 accommodation places, 28% more than in 2016, with an occupancy level of 79.3%. It also had 1,914 day places, with an occupancy rate of 85.7%. Regarding meals, a daily average of 4,751 breakfasts, lunches and dinners were served. As for street outreach, 15 teams attended to a daily average of 329 people.

In short, it can be said that homeless care in the Basque Country in 2018 was characterised by a significant increase in expenditure, which resulted in more resources, in both infrastructure and employment, and an increase in the number of people served.


The Basque Country provided 19% of the accommodation places in Spain

Two characteristics stand out in the Basque homeless care network: the smaller size of Basque centres and the higher number of paid workers among their staff, taking into account that in the Basque Country 54% are salaried employees compared to 37% who are volunteers, while nationally these figures are 37% and 56%, respectively.

Regarding the use of these resources, a daily average of 2,979 homeless people slept at centres offering accommodation in the Basque Country while the figure stood at 18,001 in Spain as a whole, representing 16.5%.

Distribution of resources by province: most of the resources are concentrated in the capitals

Homeless people tend to converge on big cities, so resources were also mainly directed towards the three Basque provincial capitals. 98% of accommodation places and 100% of meal provision capacity and day centre places in Álava were located in Vitoria-Gasteiz. 75.5% of accommodation places, 76% of meal provision capacity and 67.5% of day centre places in Vizcaya were in Bilbao. Gipuzkoa is the most decentralised province, as 55.7% of accommodation places, 65.6% of meal provision capacity and 41.8% of day centre places were available in Donostia/San Sebastián.

More than half of the centres provide information, shelter, guidance and assistance services, as well as personal services

A variety of services were offered by the Basque network of centres as a whole, focused on improving quality of life for homeless people. Of the total of 276 centres in the Autonomous Region, 72.8% provided “information and shelter”, 65.2% “guidance and referral”, 63% “assistance”, 36.2% "professional guidance" and personal services such as personal hygiene (50.4%), laundry (47.8%) and clothing (25%). Healthcare, psychological and legal services were provided at 18.1%, 34.4% and 32.2% of centres, respectively. 36.6% of the centres also provided internet access.

More than half of the people attended to were foreign nationals

Half of the homeless care centres were focused towards homeless people with no particular specific circumstances; they are resources that can adapt to a variety of emergency situations. Among the centres that attend to people experiencing specific circumstances, those devoted to people with addictions (alcohol and drugs) which represent 38.8%; immigration, 33%; and female victims of gender violence or trafficking, 27%, are worthy of note.

As regards the gender of the people who were attended, most centres were focused towards both sexes (72.8%), although differences can be observed between provinces as Gipuzkoa had the highest percentage of mixed centres at 85.3%, compared to Álava and Vizcaya, with 71.9% and 64.1%, respectively. Vizcaya stood out with 19% of the women-only centres, while Gipuzkoa and Álava had 10%.

More than half of the people attended in the Basque Country (52.1%) were foreign nationals and the distribution by province was similar: Álava, 55,8%; Vizcaya, 54%; Gipuzkoa, 48,2%.

Current expenditure amounted to 56.2 million euros, 86.5% of which was funded by Public Administrations

Assistance provided to homeless people via the Basque Country social service network represented current expenditure of 56.2 million euros in 2018, 18.4% higher than in 2016. Most of this expenditure (81.6%) was allocated to centres providing accommodation, amounting to 45.9 million euros, an average annual expenditure of 15,392 euros per person served.

Public administrations - principally provincial and local councils - funded 86.5% of this expenditure. The remaining 13.5% was funded by the organisations’ own resources (8.5%), private institutions (3.3%), donations from individuals (1.4%) and companies (0.3%). The funding model was similar in Vizcaya and Gipuzkoa, with public-sector funding at 84%. In Álava, however, almost all the funding was from public sources (97.8%).

Women accounted for 70.5% of the total staff working in the network of centres

2,583 people worked in these centres in 2018, more than half (54.5%) of whom were paid and 37.2% were volunteers. The number of salaried employees rose by 26.3% compared to 2016 and voluntary staff increased to a lesser extent (12.5%). As occurs with social services in general, most of the staff are female and there is a higher proportion of women are among salaried employees (72.5%) than volunteers (66.8%).

722 homeless people slept in shelters and low-threshold centres, mainly men

Of the 2,979 people who spent the night in centres offering accommodation, on average 722 were “homeless” people who slept in the 24 shelters and low-threshold centres in the Basque Country; 63 of them were women. Moreover, an average of 2,257 homeless people were living in the network's centres and flats, 773 were women.


This statistical operation was performed by Eustat in collaboration with the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE) in the Basque Country

Methodological note: For the purposes of this survey, a homeless person is considered to be an individual aged over 18 who does not have access to accommodation during the reference period that meets commonly accepted criteria of human habitability, whether the accommodation is legally owned or rented or occupied without charge (including that provided by the public sector or non-governmental organisations and that provided by employers). Other situations include people with addictions, migrants, individuals with an application for international protection, young people who were formerly in care and female victims of gender violence who must abandon their primary residence to ensure their safety.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: servicioprensa@eustat.es Tel: 945 01 75 62

Product data
Product data

The average number of people housed in the network of homeless centres in the Basque Country per day increased by 25.6% in 2018 compared to 2016

Operation : 
Resources for homeless people
Código operación : 
Frequency : 
Timeframe : 
Last updated : 
Next update : 
Type of operation : 
Available formats : 
Licence : 
Creative Commons
Permalink : 
Body responsible : 

Other statistical products

Your feedback.  Help us to make our web better

How would you rate the information on the site?
Very useful
Barely useful
Not useful at all
Would you like to make a suggestion?
Yes, I would