Around 200 homeless people in Oslo have to deal with long, cold days all winter – Greater Oslo

Around 200 homeless people in Oslo have to deal with long, cold days all winter – Greater Oslo

The cold week in Oslo is not as bad as predicted, but on Friday morning the thermometer in the city shows 15-20 minus degrees. For those who have no place to stay, it is enough to keep them cool during the day.

– No, where are we going? If you go to Narvesan, you can buy a cup of coffee, but after finishing it, you have to leave.

Vasile Tanase (59) throws his arms out in frustration as he speaks to NRK in central Oslo. He and his wife have a place to sleep, but spend all day outside.

Vasile Tanase (59) and his wife have a place to sleep, but he says it is difficult to cope with the cold throughout the day.

Photo: Amanda Iverson Orlich / NRK

– At half past eight in the morning we have to leave our sleeping place. Families can return at 6 p.m., but those without families can only enter at 21.

– Vasile says it is very difficult to be outside for so long with the current temperature.

No one knows exactly how many homeless people there are in Oslo, but a survey conducted last winter by the Church City Mission A study was conducted on 209 people.

There are few benefits during the day for the homeless. Mariana Chandu (44) is one of those who move when the cold hits.

– We have a canteen open until 9 12, but if it's cold until 15. If it's very, very cold, it's open until 18, she says.

Marianna Chandu

Marianna Chandu (44) is grateful for the help she is getting from various organizations.

Photo: Amanda Iverson Orlich / NRK

– Emergency assistance

The Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the Church's City Mission operate municipally supported emergency shelters for the homeless in Oslo.

The Salvation Army's Keir Gustavsen said no one should be injured or freeze to death by sleeping outside.

– We are organizing an initiative Winter night, a measure that is activated when it is less than ten degrees below zero. Sleeping outside can be dangerous, says Gustavsen.

– DIt is an emergency aid when it is very cold.

Field beds at the Salvation Army's emergency shelter in central Oslo.

The Salvation Army's emergency shelter for the homeless in central Oslo initially has room for 100 people. Offer may be extended if required.

Photo: Håvard Greger Hagen / NRK

In le, inside the Salvation Army temple in central Oslo, people watch and look out. There is hot soup and coffee. And no low field beds.

The offer is open to people who do not have legal residence or social rights in Norway. It can accommodate up to 100 people at a time.

– If there is something really special, we can increase the capacity, says Gustavsen.

The Salvation Army Temple in Oslo has an emergency shelter for the homeless here in Oslo.
Photo: Håvard Greger Hagen / NRK

Extends the offer over the weekend

Oslo Municipality funds and decides when the emergency shelter will open.

On Wednesday, the city council promised that the offer would be extended and expanded in the coming cold days. They are also stepping up efforts to find rough sleepers and inform them about the concessions.

– No one should sleep outside in Oslo, as it is harmful to health when it is too cold, City Council President Erik Leigh Solberg (H) told NTB on Wednesday.

Eirik Lae Solberg (H), Oslo City Council President

No one in Oslo has to sleep outside in the cold, says city council president Eirik Lae Solberg.

Photo: Bård Nafstad / NRK

– Night patrols and outdoor units expand their presence in Oslo from night to Friday and throughout the weekend.

They will go into the night and it will be 6 am. Also, one day patrolling is going on from Sunday 10-18.

– We have close cooperation with the Salvation Army and other voluntary organizations and we are sure that there is shelter for those who need it. We have spare capacity, stressed the city council president.

The coldest in years

State meteorologist John Smits said Friday was the coldest day in years in Oslo and Akershus.

– I think we have to go back to January 2010 to find similar temperatures.

Most of the country will see colder days throughout the weekend. It is very cold in eastern Norway, especially inland.

– It's still cold, says Smits, and will have good degrees at the end of the week.

It will be coldest in the valley areas in the north of eastern Norway, but the degree scale will move downwards in the central areas as well.

15-18 minus degrees is cold in Oslo. Nothing to worry about being out for a long time.

In Finland, temperatures are rising again after Thursday's temperature was in the low thirties. But that's about to change, according to Smith.

Now there is a light breeze.

Jan Smits relaxes on a sun lounger in good weather in Oslo

State Meteorologist John Smits can only dream of weather like this for the next few days.

Photo: Camilla Pedersen

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