The Warsaw Voice » Politics » Monthly - January 21, 2009
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Ticket Home for Homeless Poles
Britain has set about sending homeless immigrants, a large number of whom hail from Poland, back to where they came from. The streets of London are home to an estimated 13,000 people and one in five of them are immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, predominantly Poland.

The British government is funding London's first program to tackle the problem. London charity Thames Reach will be scouring the streets for vagrant migrants and trying to persuade them to return home. A one-way bus and plane ticket are available to those who want them, courtesy of Her Majesty's government.

This program to reduce homelessness has already been operating on a small scale for several years. The onset of recession has prompted policy makers to expand it and step up the pace. British authorities are counting on the cooperation of their Polish counterparts to make the program work. Britain intends to bring Polish officials to London to assure their countrymen that they will not be left to fend for themselves unaided once back in Poland.

It is going to cost around 1,000 to send each homeless Pole back home. This includes plane fares and temporary food and accommodation.