As the weather begins to get colder, a Maltese man has taken to social media to lament how many homeless people he came across in Valletta, and what they face day-to-day.
“A homeless Maltese 21-year-old stopped me on my way to MCCP car park after work in Valletta, begging me for 60c to buy a bottle of water,” Sean Jean Xuereb Conti said in a Facebook post.
“After a long chat with him, he told me he’s suffering to sleep in the streets because of the cold, so I told him to meet me the next day to give him one of my jackets.”
However, the next day, when Xuereb Conti returned to meet the homeless youth, he was unable to locate him… but he found something else.
“Whilst looking for him in the gardens in Valletta I came across two people fast asleep covered up in a plastic sheet,” he continued.
“It broke my heart to realize that apart from not finding this boy to comfort him with more clothing I had to face another two homeless people.”
As of 2019, it is estimated that around 300 people are homeless in Malta.
While there are some services provided, Malta’s homeless support services are currently “scattered” and in need of centralising.
Faced with meeting multiple homeless people within 24 hours, Xuereb Conti couldn’t believe that this was what a part of modern Malta looked like.
“I’m speechless and heartbroken that these people live in these circumstances when we have everything we wish for and we’re never happy with what we have,” he said.
“God help them and give them the courage to help themselves to live a better life and to be lucky for others to help them. Please don’t be judgmental, most of you might comment that the homeless are in this situation because they have chosen the wrong path in life, but please have some sympathy and understand that it’s not easy when psychologically one gives up,” he continued.
“I’m speechless and can’t sleep every night thinking about these people.”
People tried to console him, but many agreed that this was a problem that was worsening, and not improving.
“How absolutely sad. How has Malta come to this?” one person asked. “Maltese sleeping in the streets was unheard of… until a few years ago we had nothing of this. Then some foreigners and now Maltese too. It’s a case of being better off when we were worse off.”