Paris: helping the homeless
Ordre de Malte France has a barge on the Seine where the homeless can eat and sleep; their dogs come too
Paris, 28 October 2014
Paris, Le Fleuron St Jean on the Seine: meals and shelter for the homeless
Accommodation for 50 men – and their dogs – on a 38 metre renovated barge on the Seine, open 365 days a year – offers psychological support, medical checkups, food and shelter. Started by Ordre de Malte France 15 years ago, the ‘Fleuron Saint Jean’ sheltered 875 passengers and 40 dogs in 2013.
Paris, Seine: Le Fleuron St Jean. Order member keeps company with a passenger
Why the faithful companion helps
“The project considers the person in difficulty as a whole. The focus isn’t only on the individual, but also on the link he creates with his dog, often his only faithful companion during the long and cold winter nights,” explains Monique Lauthier, who manages the project.
There’s a crew of 11, made up of five night watchmen, two technicians, one entertainer, one social worker, the manager and deputy. And the support of 80 volunteers who take turns in working in the canteen and keeping the passengers company. Latest initiative: a social-cultural programme which includes showing films and giving writing courses. Passengers can stay up to six months. “The passengers have the time to recover emotionally and to consider a new pathway for their reintegration,” explains Mme Lauthier.