Symbolic occupation of the Hôtel-Dieu to request the shelter of the homeless – Liberation


The meeting was given at 1:30 p.m., in front of the Hôtel-Dieu, in Paris. About fifty volunteers from different associations and collectives (Utopia 56, Droit au logement, Wilson …) and about a hundred homeless, mostly exiles, settled this Saturday, in a courtyard of the hospital located in the heart of the capital, just behind Notre-Dame Cathedral. Objective of the operation: “We get warm”. While a major cold wave has hit the capital since the start of the week, the collective calls for shelter “Immediate and lasting” of “All those who need it”. At the end of the afternoon, two coaches from France Terre Asile, an association supporting asylum seekers which works in particular for the prefecture, arrived to transport women with or without children, families and minors to “hotels”, and the men alone in “Gymnasiums or other emergency accommodation”, according to the volunteers on site.

Denounce the “dysfunctions” of the extreme cold plan

“Today to be sheltered you have to go through the 115. But the emergency number is still full, it is very complicated to find a place through this”, denounces Kérill Theurillat, a coordinator of the association of aid to migrants Utopia 56, reached by telephone by Release. He regrets the “Major dysfunctions” plan great cold which does not, according to him, guarantee the accommodation of people on the street. “We want everyone present here to be taken to safety quickly. And to achieve this, we have to go through this type of visibility actions, it is not normal ”, he laments. For him, this very cold plan is “Unsuitable” and its functioning remains “Too opaque”. “It’s difficult to find information, it often means having a phone, which is not the case for many people on the street”, he emphasizes. He pleads for “The creation of meeting points where people could go to be sheltered” as well as “The establishment of a first reception system for exiles arriving in Paris”.

Requisition vacant housing

The choice of volunteers did not fall by chance on the Hôtel-Dieu. “It’s a bit symbolic, recognizes Philippe Caro from the Solidarité migrants Wilson collective. The hospitals initially had a reception vocation. But it is above all again a place that has thousands of empty, unused square meters ”. By occupying these abandoned Parisian places, the volunteers are campaigning for the public authorities to resort to the requisition law. This text authorizes the State to requisition housing vacant for more than a year. “When will the public authorities apply this law ? When will they take the necessary steps to update the shelter the most fragile , asks Yann Manzi, co-founder of Utopia 56. “We need an overhaul of the hosting system. We must stop this system where people are sheltered one day and put back into the streets the next day ”, he insists.

On January 24, the collective had already occupied a former nursery school in the 16th arrondissement of Paris to request accommodation for around 300 migrants. They had been temporarily sheltered in Parisian gymnasiums and then referred to accommodation centers.


Source: Libération by www.liberation.fr.

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