Operations to shelter around 600 homeless people who had pitched tents in a chic central Paris square began on Friday afternoon.
Léa Filoche, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of solidarity, said the people currently living on the Place des Vosges will be temporarily housed in two gymnasiums and an exhibition hall.
“A social diagnosis is to be carried out by the France Terre d”Asile NGO on the 350 families, including more than 120 children, who have been living in the chic Place des Vosges in Paris since Thursday,” Filoche said.
She called on the state to provide a “lasting solution”.
“We are once again in an emergency situation,” said the deputy mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. “The state must find dignified accommodation solutions, that’s its job,” she explained.
In total, “around 600 people”, according to the figures communicated by the town hall, including “newcomers, people legally present on the territory, globally a public in great precariousness”, were present Thursday evening. Breakfast was distributed on Friday morning by the municipal services.
These homeless people are accompanied by the “Requisitions Collective”, which asks the State for “dignified and permanent accommodation solutions”.
On Thursday at 1 pm, in just a few minutes, 300 tents had been set up on the lawns of the Place des Vosges, divided into three areas for “families”, “single men” and “minors”.
Pierre Mathurin, coordinator of Utopia 56 Paris, one of the component associations of the “Requisitions Collective”, explained to AFP, that they chose the Place des Vosges “because it is a tourist spot.
“We want to show another side of Paris. We want to make the invisible visible, even in the posh districts,” he added.