Like every year, with the approach of the winter, the government has swallowed the measures: 1,400 emergency shelter places in the Île-de-France from the first week of November, 14,000 places on average this winter. While emergency housing is a responsibility of the state, the halls of the Paris city hall will house between 50 and 100 women during periods of extreme cold.
All these initiatives are welcome and must be welcome: they are answers to survival situations. But the lack of housing is not a problem of time or fluctuations of the thermometer, it's a problem all year. Sleeping outside can be fatal in winter as in summer: the collective The dead of the road and counted 34 dead during the torrid month of June 2018. Poverty is no longer beautiful in the sun: it kills at all times.
Not to mention the fact that the homeless we see in the streets are just the tip of the iceberg! How many people roam in the hotel, housed on a sofa, crammed into too small and unhealthy lodgings, in squats or shantytowns?
But the opinion is shocked by what he sees. And rightly so! Because in the end, what are we looking for? To hide those homeless people who in these days when we are so chilly we titillate our humanity, or do we really aim at their final exit from the road? If the horizon of our action is respect for the right to housing for everyone, a bed for three months (at best …) can not be a decent solution. Countries have taken effective action against the exclusion of access to housing. In Quebec, in Finland, the "Housing First" policy has produced excellent results. The number of homeless has been divided by three in ten years! Housing First is the return to the very essence of housing rights, as enshrined in the law in 1990.
Anyone without prior access must have access to adequate and stable housing. Accompanying work, access to the law, health, recovery of the person can not be done outside the stability of a home. It is a euphemism that this approach runs counter to the current operation. The homeless are housed in an emergency shelter, followed by reintegration and then by "stabilization". Each step of this ladder is subject to a control of its "ability to live". As a result, there are very few in reaching the last step of access to housing.
In 2017, the government launched a call for projects to select 20 territories for the implementation of the "Housing First" strategy. It is simply incomprehensible that the city of Paris was not applied alongside other large cities such as Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, Toulouse or Strasbourg. In addition to the obligation to act in the face of the human tragedy of poor housing, the "Housing First" strategy is also an economy for public finances.
A homeless roaming will incur an average of € 20,000 in public service charges: firefighters, hospitals, emergency shelters, police … The same person who has access to stable and adapted housing with solid support will pay only for .. 9,000 euros for public finances!
Seeing the homeless at home, on the subway and in the streets is anything but a fatality. The solutions go beyond the simple fluctuations of the thermometer, we know them. Just want it.
Marie AtallahPresident of the Paris Council Social Affairs Committee David BelliardPresident of the group of ecologists elected to the Paris Council Galla BridierPresident of Adil 75 Baptiste de MonvalLawyer and volunteer at the Secours Catholique René DutreyResponsible "squat mission" in an NGO Anne SouyrisAdunata at the Paris city hall, responsible for health