PARIS – The City Hall of the French capital announced the results on Wednesday of its so-called “Solidarity Night” which endeavored to create a homeless census.
Paris’ homeless population currently stands at around 3,000 people, according to the 1,700 volunteers and 300 humanitarian workers, hospital staff and public transport workers who scouted the city’s streets, car parks and underground network, checking places where homeless people often go seeking refuge.
“It is unbearable that a city such as Paris has so many people sleeping in its streets,” said Deputy Mayor, Bruno Julliard, stressing that the many humanitarian measures currently applied were totally “insufficient.”
Councilor Dominique Versini added the homeless census would have been even higher if it had happened in another moment, as low winter temperatures in February meant Paris social services had arranged for 2,000 additional emergency temporary lodgings.
During the rest of the year, Paris has 16,000 temporary lodgings for its floating population.
The homeless headcount took place on the night of Feb. 15 after French President, Emmanuel Macron, acknowledged he had been unable to fulfill a promise, made last July, that, by the end of 2017, France would no longer have anyone living on its streets.
The city hall statement coincided with a cabinet announcement about a controversial project speeding up the French asylum request and expulsion process.
On March 20, the city hall will publish the qualitative results of its “Solidarity Night” census, that is, the specific conditions these people live in and will include additional data, the statement said.