The central area of the spa town of Teplice is facing issues related to homeless people. Every day, people passing through Beneš Square encounter disorder, unpleasant odors, and feelings of unease. These issues are caused by homeless individuals who spend their time occupying the benches, consuming alcohol, and occasionally making inappropriate comments. The city’s management is struggling to find solutions.
“When the weather cools down, there aren’t as many of them here, but when it’s warm, it’s a disaster! In the morning, they drink beer or wine, and as they get drunk over time, they urinate wherever possible, and they get louder. Some beg for money, and when people refuse, they start swearing,” describes Mrs. Jana Nováčková, who changes buses at the square.
The issue of the smelly homeless people in the spa town center is also being discussed on social media. People are not holding back, sharply criticizing the city’s management and blaming them for not adequately addressing the situation. “Solving the issue of homelessness is a long-term process and often brings only minor shifts. We work closely with the non-profit sector, meet regularly, evaluate the situation, and look for solutions,” said Mayor Jiří Štábl (ANO).
Locals often point to the alleged inactivity of city guards. “They just walk around the homeless, occasionally reprimand them. But otherwise nothing,” angrily told Právo senior Zdeněk Černý. The idea that people experiencing homelessness can be expelled from the square is mistaken, says Michal Chrdle, director of the city police.
One of the measures to make life uncomfortable for homeless people in the city center is the recent installation of dividing elements on selected benches at bus stops. The separators are about 50 centimeters apart, so homeless people cannot sprawl on the courts. According to Štábl, this is not the only action by the city’s management.
In Teplice, there are currently about seventy homeless people. According to the mayor, only three regularly stay in Beneš Square, for whom the city is looking for alternative shelter accommodation. However, during the day, others join them, who come to the square from their temporary shelters and other oddities. Together, they are a nuisance to people passing through the court. “We are not indifferent to this; we have strengthened patrols in the city center, and we continue to look for tools to alleviate the complex situation,” the mayor of the spa town’s residents and visitors assured.