Forced shelter plan criticised
Homelessness organisations have opposed a proposal to make rough sleepers accept temporary shelter when it is cold.
PROPOSALS to oblige rough sleepers to accept shelter during cold spells have been criticised by homelessness organisations.
Following the deaths of three people in the Bois de Vincennes in eastern Paris – where about 100 are living in makeshift conditions - in recent days, Housing Minister Christine Boutin proposed “obligatory shelter for homeless people when the temperature drops too low.”
Government spokesman Luc Chatel said the idea had backing from the president. However the prime minister has appeared to contradict the idea, saying that there was “no question of obligation.” Fillon added: “We believe in individual liberty but at certain moments, notably when it is very cold, there is a duty to assist those in danger.”
The leader of homelessness organisation les Enfants de Don Quichotte, Augustin Legrand, said that the idea was a way for the government to “hide misery away,” claiming Boutin wanted to force the homeless into gymnasiums or village halls without offering a coherent support plan.
The president of the charity Emmaüs France, Christophe Deltombe, said he was “totally hostile to any idea of forcing people,” adding that long-term solutions were required.