THE number of homeless in Spain has increased by 15.7 per cent in the past two years, according to recent National Statistics Institute data for 2010.
An average of 13,701 people used the 538 homeless shelters on a daily basis last year. Of these shelters, 75 per cent are private and 67 per cent are located in municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
While all provide lodging and food, many also offer information, counseling and workshops that aim to help reintegrate them into society and a few offer legal assistance and support.
Most are open seven-days a week all year round, but only 46.9 per cent are open 24-hours a day.
The average occupancy rate was 86.8 per cent, which is similar to that of 2008, but homeless shelters increased their capacity by 15.6 per cent last year to offer 15,778 places.
In 2010, 52.8 per cent of homeless people catered to were immigrants.