Updated 9 June: A homeless man has died in Santa Cruz. The poor soul’s body was found in the plaza Pedro Schwartz early this morning. Emergency services say that he has not yet been identified but was around 70 years old.
Original post 8 March: The death of homeless people is thankfully not frequent, but it is a growing problem, as identified as long ago as 2011 (link). The problem is particularly acute in Santa Cruz, and a British woman living in the Pancho Camurria shanty town there died last year (link), but it does happen in the south as well, and now police say that the body of a 62-year-old homeless Austrian man was found around 4.30pm on Sunday afternoon among some palm trees in Los Cristianos.
The Policía Local had reported the poor man’s lifestyle to the Public Prosecutor, but he refused to be attended to, or to receive help. Police say that he had previously been admitted as a psychiatric patient in the Candelaria hospital, but since his mental state was not such that he could be held without his consent, he had signed himself out after a couple of days and returned to Los Cristianos, where he had lived for around a year and a half in the area of the Paseo Marítimo which used to be called Plaza de los Caidos.
A sadly appropriately-named place to die for a tragic and vulnerable individual, and a story of a type that is increasingly common in these islands.