Civil Protection

Municipal contingency plan for cold wave has been activated and will remain in place in Porto

  • Dulce Pereira Abrantes

  • Article


The Municipality of Porto has activated its contingency plan for extreme weather conditions affecting the homeless and the most vulnerable population in the city of Porto. The plan is in place as of 30th December 2020 and the response is coordinated with the Emergency Temporary Shelters and the solidarity restaurants for the homeless. These measures are appropriate to the needs, and there is still availability to accommodate more people in distress. These facilities house 23 people, for the time being.

The solidarity restaurants guarantee food supply and the street teams continue to monitor the homeless that refuse to enter a temporary shelter and choose to remain in the streets, by ensuring food supply, blankets and warm drinks in the nocturnal periods. Last night, 21 people got overnight accommodation at the Aliados Subway Station.

Temperatures have fallen rapidly, which led to Porto City Hall activating the Contingency Plan to support the homeless people, last 30th December. The measures will remain in place, as informs the Municipality of Porto, owing to the harsh cold wave that is due to continue for the coming days.

The Municipality coordinates the Action Plan that engages the Núcleo de Planeamento e Intervenção Sem-Abrigo (NPISA) Porto (Planning and Intervention Division for the Homeless population in Porto), which ensured that over 40 people got support and accepted one of the options presented by the Civil Protection Services and by the street coordinated teams to remain safe. Currently, 23 people are accommodated in a temporary shelter.

The facilities of the former hospital Joaquim Urbano, where the City Hall has an Emergency Reception Centre, and the place where one of the three solidarity restaurants in the city is located, 20 people accepted municipal support. All the people were previously tested for Covid-19. The space response capacity is higher, as there is availability to accommodate more people, if needs be.

The Municipality of Porto furthers informs that the Centro de Campanhã dos Albergues Noturnos do Porto houses three people. Also, there is still availability to house more people, although the Joaquim Urbano Centre offers more space availability.

Besides these two infrastructures, there is one vacancy at the Centro de Alojamento Social (CAS) of the Social Security.

“At this point in time, there are still vacancies, so in case there is the need for any routing, the NPISA Porto team of the Social Cohesion Department of the City Hall can be reached. Previous testing to Covid-19 will be guaranteed, either by own means or via the ACES [Health Centres Groups]”, informs the councillor for Housing and Social Cohesion of Porto City Hall, Fernando Paulo, coordinator of the NPISA Porto.

Aliados Subway Station houses 18 people overnight, on average

Since it opened doors, on 1st January, between 9pm and 8am, the Aliados Subway Station has housed circa 18 people per night, on average. Last night, there were 21 people staying overnight in that subway station.

Some people go there by their own means and other required the transport of the teams that monitor the streets of Porto to support the homeless and the most vulnerable, according to two predefined routes within the Cold Wave Municipal Contingency Plan: downtown Porto and in the Boavista area.

The Municipal Civil Protection and the Firefighter Battalion of Porto ensure that operations are implemented, regarding transport, blanket distribution and space decontamination. The solidarity restaurant of Joaquim Urbano, in turn, offers dinner, in coordination with the Municipal Department of Porto Social Cohesion.

Moreover, a team of “Coração na Rua” has been placed in the subway station on a daily basis, offering extra blankets, warm drinks and food, and a team of the Médecins du Monde (MdM) is also in place to provide medical support.

The Municipality of Porto also informs that 40 people have refused, so far, to go to a Temporary Shelter. However, all of them are being monitored by the Street Support Teams, who provide them support as regards warm clothing and warm meals.