Rotterdam residents want to tackle rising homelessness problems

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A massive 95 percent of Rotterdam residents feel that homelessness in the city is a major problem that needs to be addressed better, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond. Almost half of them are willing to contribute financially to help improve the lives of the homeless, Metro reports.

A slightly smaller percentage, 42 percent, feel that it is the responsibility of civil society organizations to prevent the problem. According to them, these organizations should address homelessness better by providing shelter and counseling. A third of the respondents think the government should address the problem.

This poll was done at the request of Pastor Dick Couvee of the Paulus Church, which shelters part of Rotterdam's homeless population. Currently Rotterdam counts an estimated three to four thousand homeless people living in the city.

A fifth of Rotterdam residents say they encounter a homeless person on a daily basis. For about a third this happens once a week.

Statistics Netherlands recently reported that the number of homeless people in the Netherlands increased by 75 percent since 2009.