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The first step: from the street to the field Hidalgo’

It was too long makeshift camps in public reproduced in the northern suburbs of Paris. The last major camp where 3,800 people lived in unsanitary conditions, was dismantled on 30 October. Ten days later he opened the Centre for Humanitarian Refugee Shelter, a bet that the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, defense as a “question of humanity.” The aim of the popularly dubbed field Hidalgo Street is to save those who seek refuge when they arrive in the city between 70 and 90 every day. So far, the field has a capacity for 400 people, which may take between 5 and 10 days before being directed to shelters and counseling perennial vocation more around the country. A month ago opened another center for single women and families in the south of Paris.

Guide and streamline procedures

Behind the security doors, a huge inflatable structure occupies the open entrance to an old warehouse SNCF, the French rail company. Bruno Morel, CEO of Emmaus Solidarité -the solidarity movement which administers the centre-, guide us: “Here, under this tent, are the first interviews. We can not accommodate everyone on the same day, but improve the system as we move forward. For example, we implemented an appointment system to avoid endless queues. We also work on an extension of 200 beds. ”

A total of 5,600 people, 900 children have passed through this tent since November: “These people in the street and would now be very difficult to implement procedures for asylum. Firstly, the majority do not speak French. ” The aim is to guide them and inform them in a dignified manner. “-we Say Morel- immediately identify children who are directed to the service of the Red Cross. We also have a medical center that has about 3,000 care, especially related skin diseases. ”

Once access to the large tent, immigrants find a space designed so they can be informed, drink, relax, communicate with her, and especially at this time to protect themselves from the cold. Coffee machines and other hot drinks, a loading area for mobile Internet access, a rest area and signs that explain all the possible languages ​​where they are and how the host system: “We want to offer them a minimal quiet, “said Morel.

Cover basic needs

The tour continues to the interior of the old railway warehouse. Several wooden structures form a kind of city divided into eight areas by color. In each area we host 50 people, divided into four modules. “This explains Morel- cover their basic needs: food, hygiene and health. And we try to give them some privacy. We did not want cubicles with bunk beds for $ 50. ” Everything is planned: laundry, hygiene kits and new clothes, if necessary, and a cabinet with lock and ping-pong. A team of 120 employees and 500 volunteers accompany the newcomers in this traffic helps recover the hard sleepers Mediterranean and should be able to make them places in centers throughout France.

Locking for inaction of the state

But the flow of principle seems to have stopped because the number of spaces in the structures in the country is scarce, resulting in saturation of the reception center of the capital, which has invested EUR 7 million in the project . This makes fear the birth of new camps in the street. This week, Noble warned in a statement that the danger posed not been involved in the creation of more stable places: “The Council notes that the state does not ensure the fluidity of the devices. Paris and the region of Ile de France alone can not cope with the migration crisis of recent decades older. ”

However, Morel, the director of the center, says goodbye: “Be optimistic and explain it well. Here we are proud to take a moment of rest to people fleeing situations of war and conflict. “