The urban and property management department of Guangzhou began using water spray and cement cones to keep homeless people out of the streets last month, claiming that it was a last resort solution to retain beauty in the city.
The sprinklers are set up to spray water every 20 minutes. Many homeless people have to move to other places, such like parks, ifeng News reports. Volunteers previously went to the areas where homeless people gathered and tried to persuade them to go to shelters, but none of them wanted to go.
“The weather broadcast said it would become colder tonight. Do you want to live in the shelter for several days? They have hot water and give you free tickets if you want to go home,” a deputy director of the local Civil Affairs Bureau told the homeless.
The shelter leader also attempted to persuade the vagrants, but he only got handshakes and “thanks” as replies. After leaving food and water for them, the volunteers could do nothing but leave.
In a report from 2010, China Daily explained why many homeless people refuse to take refuge in homeless shelters.
“Some of them prefer to live outside. They wander about the street as they please,” a volunteer said. It is difficult for them (homeless) to live in a shelter after being on the margins of society for so long.”
Yesterday, the cement cones near the railway station were removed. The area will soon be filled in with plants.
By Dina Li