French NGO warns situation is getting worse for homeless people

A 50-year-old man, who had been homeless for around twenty years, died in hospital on 2 January. Another man, aged 60, who had been homeless for 10 years, died on Place de la République in Paris on 9 January.

“It’s a political choice to leave people on the streets”, Guillemette Soucachet, coordinator of the “No health without a roof” programme at Médecins du Monde (MDM), told French news agency AFP.

“The situation is really deteriorating,” she added.

“We’re very worried about all this, particularly in the context of the immigration law”, which, by restricting the payment of social benefits to foreigners, is likely to lead to “even more people living on the streets”.

No housing minister yet

“We really get the feeling that the government has absolutely no grasp of the urgency of the situation”, adds Soucachet, deploring in particular the fact that no housing minister has yet been appointed in the new prime minister’s government.

Questioned on Tuesday by the National Assembly on the issue of homelessness, the prime minister Gabriel Attal highlighted “the 550,000 people who were lifted out of homelessness”, “the doubling” of emergency accommodation to “200,000 places” and the recent release of an additional €120 million to deal with the cold snap.

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