Street in Nerja J. N
Ninth class citizens

Ninth class citizens

We have our own group of homeless or wandering citizens, the majority just ignored and avoided

David Andrews


Friday, 12 May 2023, 14:02


I'm sure that Nerja is no different from many other Malaga towns and villages. We have our own group of homeless or wandering citizens who are referred to, here, as "hippies".

Nobody really seems to know where they come from nor where they go and the majority, in my eyes, don't care.

They are basically people who live outside society's norms and, as such, are ostracised and looked down on by the "gente de bien" ("upstanding members of the community" would be a fair translation, I think).

There is no help available, they don't fit in into any particular category and a lot of them speak little Spanish, so what can/should the authorities do?

The majority are just ignored and avoided, at best, or frowned upon and moved on, the norm.

However, these anonymous faces are members of our community and shouldn't we be offering them some kind of support? But how can this happen if they have decided to live outside of the rules which our first-world society has put in place, not heeding timetables and unable to submit a permanent address, a phone number, the omnipresent NIE/ DNI, etc?

These thoughts have become more acute in the last weeks as two of our neighbours are no longer in the town.

One man, it seems, has hanged himself and a black man, who used to walk around the Balcón de Europa shouting and gesticulating frantically, has just disappeared. Both, one would presume, with mental health issues.

While our solidarity seems to abound with Ukrainians, animals and orphans from India, we seem to be unaware of people in distress who are in the doorway of our local supermarket.

I don't know what the answer is and I am sure that this is a complex problem which needs somebody with more knowledge, experience and resources than me.

Meanwhile, I will continue, when I remember, to give a euro to the person sitting on the floor with a plastic cup and a dog on a piece of string.

Will the money go towards, as people say, booze or drugs? I don't know and nobody seems to be able to propose another solution. Whatever gets you through the night.




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