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Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille: where are the homeless in Paris sent? [Exclusif] – Homeless in Paris: can Brittany accommodate them?

March 2023. In the greatest discretion, the Ministers of the Interior and Housing send a circular to all the prefects. The subject of the document: the creation as soon as possible of accommodation airlocks in the provinces, in order to temporarily accommodate homeless people from the Paris region while their administrative situation is examined.

With the exception of Île-de-France, Hauts de France and Corsica, all regions are concerned. The stated objective: to ease the pressure on emergency accommodation in Île-de-France and organize a better distribution across the national territory of homeless people concentrated in this region where nearly 50% of national migratory flows converge. A way also, according to most of the actors of this file, to empty the streets of Paris while the Olympic Games are looming.

10 airlocks throughout France

In the different regions, the construction site has therefore been launched for several weeks. Each time, it was first necessary to find a social operator to pilot the project and then to mobilize land to allow a maximum of 50 homeless people to be accommodated every three weeks, in a sort of permanent rotation. According to our information, at least seven airlocks have already been opened throughout the territory and accommodate nearly 400 people.

According to our information, large cities such as Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse or Marseille are concerned, but also smaller ones such as Geispolsheim (on the outskirts of Strasbourg), Montgermont (near Rennes) andseloncourt in the Doubs. For some of them, the first buses transporting homeless Parisians arrived last March. On site, these people – who are mostly asylum seekers – are fed and housed for a maximum of 30 days, the time to carry out an in-depth examination of their situation. Depending on the result, they are then “redirected” elsewhere in the region to emergency accommodation or to a reception center for asylum seekers.

Lack of consultation

In Bruz – which is to host the Breton airlock from September – as elsewhere, the state method does not pass with local elected officials. “We were made aware at the very last moment”, laments Floriane Varieras, assistant in charge of Solidarity at the town hall of Strasbourg, while a hotel in the neighboring town of Geispolsheim has been welcoming homeless Parisians for several weeks. “We regret not having been involved in thinking about solutions at the exit of the airlock. Between the emergency and the sly, I don’t know what took precedence”.

While the emergency accommodation centers are almost all saturated at the national level, several actors interviewed by us in the regions are afraid of witnessing a simple dispersion of people in need throughout the territory. “It’s a sleight of hand from the government”, whispers an interlocutor who knows the file well.

Dispersion ?

Especially since the device does not seem flawless. “Since April, around 90 people have already passed through the Bordeaux airlock”, indicates Harmonie Lecerf, deputy mayor in charge of access to rights and solidarity. “The problem is that, of the first 47 to arrive in Bordeaux, the state services told us that 36 had evaporated into the wild. That means they left the airlock on their own and joined the hundreds of homeless people from Bordeaux. Or else they went back to Paris. We don’t solve the problem that way.”

Asked about the subject on France Info, the Minister of Housing Olivier Klein defends “an operation which makes it possible to better support families in emergency accommodation”. Despite the lack of consultation unanimously denounced in different regions, he specified that this project is “something which is being prepared, which is accompanied on the basis of the voluntary participation of the cities”.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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