Paris: Pregnant women, babies… The prefecture promises a solution to the homeless who camp in the Place de l'Hôtel de ville

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REPORTAGE According to our information, the Ile-de-France prefecture sheltered around fifty people on Monday, and intends to do the same for the rest of those present in the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville in Paris “by the end of the week”

Paris: Pregnant women, babies… The prefecture promises a solution to the homeless who camp in the Place de l'Hôtel de ville

“We were attacked by passers-by, the police are no longer watching. We had racist insults like 'dirty niggers go home feeling', and all kinds of insults, “complains Fatoumata, five months pregnant, who is camping in the square of the Hotel de ville in Paris for three weeks — A.L.

  • Since the beginning of August, a few dozen families have been camping near the forecourt of the Hôtel de ville in Paris: often women with very young children, notably from Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal or Mali.
  • “We are ready to do our part by providing places that belong to us. It is now time for the State to do its job, it is its competence, “said the housing assistant, Ian Brossat.
  • On Monday, around fifty people were referred for shelter, according to our information. But this is far from covering all of the people present.

Bambazenebou, 30, is exhausted. Nine months pregnant, the young woman with a well-rounded belly is camping in the square of the town hall in Paris. Paris for almost three weeks, in the middle of a dodger, in the midst of dozens of women and children, sometimes only a few months old. It is 28 degrees on Monday and the voice of this Ivorian, whose right to asylum has been rejected and expelled from her temporary accommodation since May, is so weak that it is almost inaudible.< /p>

“We’re tired,” says this mother, who also has to look after a two-and-a-half-year-old child, that she can’t make it through. subscribe to; crèche due to lack of accommodation. “All I ask is an update. the shelter” loose Bambazenebou, who participates in this spontaneous mobilization of migrants to demand permanent housing.

“”The problem is beyond our means”

This Monday morning, about fifty people were oriented for an upgrade; the shelter, precisely, direction Orleans in a regional airlock, according to our information, confirmed by the regional prefecture. But it’s far from covering all of it. people present. Of the 200 people who initially counted the camp, there are still some left on Monday afternoon at the camp. eye view a big hundred.

An aberration for Félix, who takes care of the communication of Utopia 56, an association which supports these migrants. “During previous mobilisations, in March and December, people were accommodated within 72 hours.” The association helps migrant people to find emergency solutions with solidarity hosts and hostesses, or in places that are given to him, but this time, F&élix feels “deprived  ;”: “In August, we don’t have enough volunteers to support the families. We are at the end of our limits to fill the void. The problem is beyond our means.”

Devices overloaded

This is also the opinion of the City of Paris, which asked to the State to assume its responsibilities. “We keep calling for state an update operation. the shelter to put an end to this outrageous situation,” to AFP Ian Brossat, Deputy the mayor of Paris in charge of housing, emergency accommodation and protection of refugees. “We are ready to do our part by putting disposal of the premises belonging to us. Now is the time for the state to do its job, it”s its competence,” Ian Brossat.

State emergency accommodation systems, including for very vulnerable people; such as pregnant women or very young children, are completely saturated. Fatoumata, 27, 5 months pregnant and from Côte d’Ivoire, shows us her phone’s call log, with the three calls made in the morning to 115, as each day. She can't take these living conditions anymore, from sleeping to sleeping. even the floor on cardboard boxes, without a tent, without a sleeping bag.

“Families have given us floor mats, water packs, milk, nappies, food. But it's cold at night,” she said, pointing to a little boy with a runny nose. “We have been attacked by passers-by, the police no longer watch. We got racial slurs like “dirty niggers go home feeling,” and all kinds of slurs. Passers-by film us without asking,” she complains.

“In the middle of the ford”

With local residents, the situation is sometimes tense. A municipal police patrol passes shortly after our interview with Fatoumata, explaining to us that they are acting so that the children stop blocking the elevators of the car park located at the entrance. under the square, or to free up access to the metro station, some passers-by feeling insecure. A fight broke out. this morning, at because of newcomers hoping to land an upgrade; the shelter without having camped; here for weeks, according to an employee who has been observing the situation for weeks.

“I see people who are tired of having ç it under their windows,” comments Aurélien Véron, city councilor and spokesperson for the Changer Paris group. However, the elected representative on the right does not wish to send these people home, preferring “an active and rapid integration to Germany with a strategy to achieve financial autonomy” And to conclude: “Today, we are in the middle of the ford, we leave the doors open but without a strategy behind. You have to decide: either really send them back or integrate them. But I find it difficult to imagine that these women are not dynamic enough to be able to have a job within a year.” from the regional prefecture, we want to be rather reassuring this Monday evening: “We want to resolve the situation by the end of the week, with all the people being taken care of. ”