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US News Lille: “Humanitarian firefighters” distribute survival kits to homeless people

22:00  24 february  2021
22:00  24 february  2021 Source:   20minutes.fr

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station It has been ten years since the marauders of the French disaster relief group (GSCF) have distributed their " survival kits »To homeless people . Tuesday, Emilie, Gentil, Yacine and Alexis, four NGO volunteers, firefighters by profession, met at Lille-Flandres station for a distribution. 20 Minutes followed them.

It was in front of the "Romy" statue, on the forecourt of the station, that they set the starting point for the marauding. This is where they meet Marc * sleeping on the street. "We are really targeting people who have nothing or who have had their things stolen," says Gentil. A second man joins Marc, thinking he can get the same bag. But the 115 pays him a hotel thanks to the Extreme Cold Plan, he will not be entitled to the kit. For lack of resources, the GSCF is forced to "prioritize". The man leaves, insulting them. The volunteers advise Marc to keep his bag close to him to avoid theft, but he doesn't seem to mind, and puts it down further.

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Masks are "clearly not a priority" for the homeless

Less than a hundred yards away, another person seems to need the help of the GSCF. The process is the same every time. One of the firefighters approaches the person, asks him how he is, his first name, if he sleeps on the street or if he has a place to rest. Then, if she has nothing, Emilie presents what is in the bag: a thermos, a sleeping bag, warm clothes, hygiene equipment and the essential masks.

Présentation du - C.Ruiz / 20 Minutes © Provided by 20 Minutes Presentation of - C.Ruiz / 20 Minutes

In the eyes of the people approached, we read mistrust, but some end up confiding. This is the case with Bernard *, on the street since the age of 7 and passed from home to home. “I like homes more,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. For a quarter of an hour, he tells about violence, women who do not even dare to go to the bathroom, thefts ...

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The bag will be useful to him. "Thank you, masks are important," he concludes. Bernard nevertheless had his under his chin throughout our discussion. “It's clearly not a priority for them, they are just trying to survive,” says Emilie.

Marauders have seen an increase in precariousness since the coronavirus crisis. “Especially among young people, notes Gentil. Minors. Often these are family breakdowns, one less mouth to feed. But it's been ten years since we became aware of this phenomenon. "

" After the coronavirus, it will be catastrophic "

On the Grand'Place, Jacques is doing the round. Until some time ago he was selling his paintings here even before the police stopped him. He finally found a place to live with the help of well-meaning people, whom he talks about with a smile on his face. “With the traders and the bus drivers, I'm fine. Even the police now ”. It indicates who might need the GSCF bag. “They are found everywhere,” he told us, shrugging his shoulders.

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Sur la Grand Place, Jacques nous montre les articles qui parlent de lui et de ses toiles qu'il n'a plus le droit de vendre - C.Ruiz / 20 Minutes © Provided by 20 Minutes On the Grand Place, Jacques shows us the articles that talk about him and his paintings that he no longer has the right to sell - C.Ruiz / 20 Minutes

Indeed, two hours later , the ten bags were sold in the area of ​​the station alone. “Some people lost everything overnight. And you will see after the coronavirus! It will be catastrophic, all the little boxes will sink, ”Gentil laments. Yacine and Alexis add: "There are some who have had sacred lives, but that's what is interesting, is to know each other's history. »

A final tour of the station is made. Marc finally put the bag closer to him, on his back. He smiles from afar and thanks with a wave of his hand.

* First names have been changed.

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© LP / B.H. Puteaux, February 26. Anne-Gabrielle uses the Entourage application, created by the eponymous social association, to get in touch with the homeless to whom she gives “survival kits”. She had to find a homeless man, in the heart of La Défense, to give him one of the “survival kits” that she is making. But he canceled at the last minute. "It happens ...

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This is interesting!