Local authorities in the Polish city of Krakow have pledged to fund the building of the country’s first refuge hostel for LGBTQ+ people, following backlash to the announcement that it would be hosting the 2023 European Games. Many opposed the decision to allow Krakow to host the sporting event, as it is located in the Małopolska region of Poland, which is one of 100 areas to have signed a pledge promising to ‘oppose acts of tolerance’ towards the LGBTQ+ community.
Liz Barker, a UK politician, said: “The European Games is an Olympic event and as such it should uphold the values of excellence, respect and friendship” and argued Krakow was not fit to host the games considering local authority’s stance on the LGBTQ+ community. The shelter is now being set up in an effort to make the city more LGBTQ+ friendly before the game.
According to Inside the Games, city councillor, Alicja Szczepańska, said: “My initiative regarding this hostel has permanently entered the city budget.The authorities of Kraków were the first in the country to implement a very important postulate.” They also said one shelter “was not enough”, and suggested another hostel could be built in Warsaw, the country’s capital.
The centre, which will feature twelve rooms complete with two bathrooms and a shared kitchen/dining room, is due to receive PLN184,000 (£36,000) in government funding. It aims to provide temporary accommodation to those who have been left homeless as a result of discrimination against their sexuality and/or gender identity. Residents are free to stay for as long as they require.