The day before the start of the school year, more than 1,400 children slept in the streets


A homeless person in Paris (illustrative image). – JOEL SAGET / AFP

Alarming figures. On the eve of this new school year, on the night of September 1 to 2, more than a thousand children slept in the street or in makeshift shelters, according to a survey published this Thursday by the Federation of actors of the solidarity (FAS) and Unicef ​​France.

Out of 5,527 family people who dialed the emergency number 115 in mainland France that night, 2,925 were not accommodated due to lack of emergency accommodation places or access to social housing. “Of these, 1,483 were children under the age of 18,” the document says.

Figures below reality

In Paris, where the 115 is the most used, 93% of families who made a request could not be accommodated. In the rest of France, the refusal rate due to the lack of places was 44% but it “has been increasing for several weeks”.

“These figures clearly indicate that we are facing an alarming situation,” FAS director Florent Gueguen told AFP. “However, we must recognize a positive development: the number of refusals for emergency accommodation has overall decreased compared to the same time last year thanks to the opening of additional accommodation places in hotels since the beginning of the health crisis, ”he said.

This survey is a non-exhaustive barometer that does not take into account people who have slept in the street without calling 115, in particular many unaccompanied minors and families living in slums or in squats, warn the FAS and Unicef. “If the recovery plan presented last week by the government contains an envelope of 100 million euros for accommodation, it does not provide for the creation of additional places for families while demand remains exponential”, also underlines the document, ensuring that less than 1% of the credits of the recovery plan are allocated to the most vulnerable.

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