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In January 2016, almost 10,000 homeless people phoned 115 without success

Translated Tuesday 29 March 2016, by Philippa Griffin

In January, almost 10,000 homeless people received no positive response to their plea for temporary accommodation, according to statistics provided by the 115 helpline.

Photo : Pascal Pavani/AFP: « A home is a basic right »

These statistics were provided by the 115 helpline, and were published in mid-January by Fnars [1] (The National Federation of Organisations for Social Reintegration). The emergency helpline 115 is managed by medical organisation Samu social, and staff direct homeless people to temporary accommodation and medical services.

Throughout the month of January, 22,300 callers phoned almost 100,000 times in total. Although this represents a 5% reduction on the number of calls made during January 2015, calls to enquire about information and services such as food banks, showers, medical care, provision of bedding and transport have increased significantly, 32% up on January 2015.

Fnars emphasises that this “represents the increasingly fragile health and social conditions which homeless people endure in our country”. It is estimated that 41% of the callers were families: 2,800 adults accompanied by over 4,900 children. Of these families, 47% were still unable to be provided with accommodation after many appeals to the helpline. Fnars representatives are seriously concerned: “For those who did secure a temporary place to stay, this was often in hotels (45% of callers), but the government has just announced its intention to reduce the number of stays which hotels are able to offer to homeless people.”

As Fnars explains, the nature and scale of temporary accommodation is growing increasingly ill-adapted to the needs of homeless people in France.

[1Fnars = Fédération nationale des associations de réinsertion sociale.

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