In Bruz, the reception of homeless people from Paris is controversial – Bretagne
This is an announcement that did not go over very well with local elected officials. Monday, May 22, the deputy secretary general of the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine, Matthieu Blet, was in Bruz to present a project to open a temporary accommodation center for homeless people in the town of 20 000 inhabitants next September. Modular housing should be installed there to accommodate people currently living on the streets in Île-de-France, on a voluntary basis. In Rennes, the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine denies having carried out this project in secret.
“There are a lot of people who are on the street in Île-de-France, national solidarity must play a full role,” said Matthieu Blet, deputy secretary general of the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine, this Tuesday, May 23. “The government has asked a dozen prefects to create temporary reception centers. Of course, Brittany must fully contribute to this sheltering”. Seven regions have already responded to the state’s request, dating back to mid-March. Throughout France, 10 such places should see the light of day – including only one in Brittany… in Bruz.
This temporary center will be installed on land belonging to the SNCF under a bridge, near Bruz station and the Rennes-Redon railway line. “Every three weeks, a maximum of 50 people will arrive by bus,” says Matthieu Blet. A turnover will be operated regularly with new arrivals of homeless people – whether they are “French, European, refugees, in a regular or irregular situation”.
For the municipality of Bruz, a decision that poses a problem
The initial presentation did not really convince the elected officials of Bruz who claim not to be “favorable to the installation of such an airlock in the town, under these conditions which we consider unworthy”. For Philippe Salmon, the mayor of Bruz who spoke through a press release, several problems arise.
Where will these people go after their passage through the airlock?
“We are told that these people would then join emergency accommodation centers in the region but they are all currently saturated”, underlines in particular the local elected official. The prefecture confirms that, every three weeks, people coming from Ile-de-France will be redirected, at the same time, to dedicated emergency accommodation in another Breton department. The first stage, in Bruz, is done with an orientation session. “Agents will come to understand their administrative situation,” explains Matthieu Blet. “Based on this study, a route to accommodation or housing for these people will be proposed”. For Brittany, the operator Aurore was chosen to provide this social support.
Is the choice of land wise?
“The land is polluted by hydrocarbons and heavy metals, which risks causing health problems and potential poisoning of residents, especially children, since families could be accommodated there”, points out Pierre Salmon. If Matthieu Blet recalls that the study “is a bit old”, he nevertheless ensures “to work with the ARS to find out if it is possible to set up in the place”. Aware of the opposition of the elected officials of Bruz, he specifies not to exclude changing land “if there is a more easily mobilizable file”.
“Two locations were considered. In each case, I approached the elected officials concerned, ”explains the deputy secretary general of the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine. The ease of transport will have helped in the choice of location, near Rennes. To carry out this system, Aurore proposed “a modular solution, which required finding land”. The center will first welcome the first homeless people in a former hotel in Montgermont over the next few days. A temporary situation, before settling in September in Bruz, in a guarded place in the evenings and on weekends so that there is always a human presence.
Finally, what will be the reception conditions for these homeless people?
“The prefecture is not able to give us guarantees to ensure that all people passing through the Bruz airlock will be able to receive a dignified welcome when they leave. We learned that no meal service would be provided and that each resident would be on their own to find what to eat,” said Pierre Salmon. This day, the prefecture is formal. This device “will not weigh on the services of the communities, we have planned the restoration and we have the social operator”. Meals, paid for by the latter, will be free.
Create permanent structures rather than an airlock?
If the elected officials of Bruz asked the prefecture to “review its organization, in consultation, to ensure better reception conditions”, they also defended themselves from refusing to welcome people in great precariousness. “We are already doing this to a large extent by reserving and maintaining 22 accommodations to accommodate migrants awaiting the regularization of their situation”, assures the mayor of the municipality. “We also denounce the choice of the State to provide resources for the creation of transitional airlocks rather than the development of permanent reception and accommodation structures, which are sorely lacking today”.
5,000 places exist today for asylum seekers in Brittany. “The government has released capacity to create additional places”, although there is no dedicated envelope, specifies Matthieu Blet. For the moment, only 50 additional places have been created. “The sheltering of these people is part of the continuity of the housing first plan of 2018”, he underlines. “If they live on the streets in Paris, it is better to offer them a course in a region where things can be organized well. It was a human necessity to take this initiative”.
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