Hungary: Ban on living in public areas taking effect

Hungary: Ban on living in public areas taking effect
Ferenc Ribeny and his dog Mazli (Fluke) sit at a homeless shelter in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday Oct. 14, 2018. A constitutional ban on living in public areas goes into effect on Oct. 15, threatening the homeless with possible jail terms if they refuse to heed police warnings to stop living rough.(AP Photo/Pablo Gorondi)

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A constitutional amendment that prohibits people from living in public areas takes effect next week in Hungary.

Advocates for the homeless say the ban and the threat of jail time for violators is unlikely to solve the problem of people sleeping on the streets.

Menhely Alapitvany (Shelter Foundation) Director Zoltan Akna says more resources are needed to prevent people from becoming homeless and to house the ones that do.

Unofficial estimates indicate some 30,000 people are homeless in Budapest, the Hungarian capital. The Hungarian government says 9,800 places are available in shelters for overnight stays and 19,000 in total.

The government recently allocated 9.1 billion forints (.2 million) to help the needy.