As Facebook user Themis Vas said in his Facebook video, it was the only night this shelter should have been working— the night of the biggest snowfall in Athens in years.
The night when vulnerable people of Athens needed this shelter to operate the most.
And because of a scheduling snafu, the homeless shelter was not only closed by 11pm, but the employee running it up to that time asked the homeless people inside to leave so he could lock up.
Themi, according to his video testimony, was out walking on the street and came a cross a homeless man.
He proceeded to take him to the shelter, operated by the City of Athens, to offer a safe and warm place for the city’s growing homeless population.
But when he arrived, he saw the place locked up and empty.
He called the city of Athens’ hotline and was told that the employee that was supposed to work the night shift called in sick, so there was no one who could operate the shelter. This happened at 10pm, an hour before the shelter was set to change shifts.
So what did the folks at Athens City Hall do? They closed the shelter all together, sending those inside out into the streets on the snowiest night of the year.
Themi’s video has gone viral— viewed over 700,000 times and the comments against the bureaucracy in Greece are stifling.
To date, the City of Athens has not responded officially.