“We decided to leave home so that our daughter would not be circumcised.says Sonia, 27. Beside him, Mohammed holds in his arms his only nine-month-old daughter Naira. Her couple fled Ivory Coast to protect her.
Installed from June in an emergency accommodation on Rue de Solan in Montreuil, both humbly recount their chaotic journeys. He was the first to choose the path to exile. She will arrive soon pregnant in the middle of winter at the end of 2021. ”After two very difficult days on the road, we called 115 and were placed at a hotel in Saint-Denis. ”says Sonia. The only hope to hold on to is her daughter’s asylum application, which is eventually accepted.
“we know how lucky we are come herecontinued the young mother. “I couldn’t believe it when I discovered the kitchen and dining table. When the three of us danced for the first time, we were overjoyed.“
The family was one of the first to settle in this new Emergency Accommodation Unit (CHU) and it is now nearly full. Managed by Samu social de Paris, it will eventually house her 16 families, half of whom are single women with children.
“Regain Your Intimacy”
14 apartments are already inhabited by families with one or two children, half of whom are raised by a single woman. All rooms are two room types with an average of 28 square meters, and are equipped with a shower, toilet, sofa bed, microwave oven, and refrigerator.
“family here A quieter environment than a hotel. They can get their privacy back.” Highlight Yanifer Lema, Director of CHU, whose office is on the ground floor.
“We see each other as normal people“
This new environment has transformed Sonia and Mohamed’s daily lives. “The hotel kitchen closes at 9 p.m. do they rememberWith over 300 people, there was a line to heat up the food. In many cases it was not possible.And the room was very small with cockroaches and bedbugs everywhere”
For Kadiatu, 41, it’s the sense of security that makes the difference. “we feel at home. We are happy with ourselves and consider ourselves normal people.”
Arriving in France from Conakry, Guinea in 2015, she says she was detained.kindly first“formerly by a family in Paris”They don’t take advantage of my situation. We had 5 kids and soon I was doing all the work.. It made me lose all confidence.“
Since she applied for asylum, Kadiatou was first placed at the CADA (Asylum Seekers Reception Center) in Torcy (Seine-et-Marne) and then at Pierrefitte (Seine-Saint-Dennis). However, a year later his request was denied. “I was given 24 hours to vacate the premises. That’s where I found myself confused. I slept in the emergency room of the Delafontaine hospital for a month. [à Saint-Denis], ‘Cause the road’s too hard for one woman. So I called 911. It can save you from rape, assault and even prostitution.“, she let go.
Kadiatu was then tracked to the Outstretch Hand Day Center in Aubervilliers, where she met her husband, Kone. Her daughter Fatumata was born when she secured her place at the Royal Hotel in Montreuil. “Family life in a hotel is not easy.But we didn’t complain too much because we know what we left behind’” she sums up.
Collective, residence contract
“We accept any emergency accommodation unconditionally, We highlight Yenifer Lemma, who knows all the residents very well. “Most of the families here want to find a home and build a life like everyone else. But each case is different. Longer route for those without paperworkThat’s why we offer comprehensive support.”
This is the mission of Karina, who has been working as a social worker for two and a half years in the Palisam social circle. “It helps to carry out all the steps that facilitate integration: liberation of social rights, registration of language courses, formalization related to the legal department, job search and training, creation of resumes related to integration advisors. Moon, help with parenting and simply help with everyday tasks.Many families have lived in hotels for many years and do not necessarily know how to use the facilities’” she explains. So he sometimes goes upstairs to his. ”See if all is well and how family dynamics are changing”
“The center remains a group, but residents have a tenancy contract and internal regulationsBut Jennifer Lemma recalls. For example, external visits are limited to set times.
She held the first meeting so that everyone could get to know each other in a common room. You can cook there (it is equipped with the only oven in the building) and use it not only as a meeting place, but also for work. We also offer language courses. And to make things easier for everyone, two computers and a deck chair for the baby should be installed there.
“social chic here’ Samiha laughs. The 37-year-old is raising her two sons, Mohammed and Anase, alone. “Before arriving here, we ended up at the university hospital in Aubervilliers.the environment was not good eldest son with autismThe front door was not secure. We didn’t have a shower, toilet or kitchen. He spent three months there and to me he was like a year.this is where our lives change”
Reduce social hotel locations
Of the six centers managed by Sam Social de Paris, the one on rue Solan is the first to be fully established on the Seine Saint-Denis. Seine Saint Denis.
“The purpose with the creation of this center is to close social hotel locations. today, they represent More than half of Ile-de-France accommodation with an average stay of 2.5 yearsMoreover, structures such as university hospitals are saturated.Location is inadequate, especially in a department like Seine Saint DenisVanessa Benoit, General Manager of Sam Social de Paris, said:
According to Interlogement 93’s 2021 report, of the 10,476 people referred that year, 83% were in a hotel setting. By comparison, 908 people were admitted to emergency accommodation.
Partnership between the city and Caritas Habitat
In Montreuil, the city owns a building on rue Solan and sells it to Caritas Habitat, a Secours Catholique land company founded in 2015. ”In partnership, we proposed an amount of €800,000, or 20% below the market price, justified within the legal framework by the social aspects of the project and the need for serious rehabilitation. of the buildingsays Gaylord Le Checker, Montreuil’s first deputy mayor and in charge of town planning. “Also, the creation of CHU is fully consistent with the city’s desire to go beyond speculative logic and maintain a diversity of housing offerings, especially social housing. ”
For Caritas Habitat, which built the first university hospital here,it’s an iconic project, highlights Samuel Couet, General Manager. “This is a major rehabilitation project, built in collaboration with the City of Montreuil and Sam Social de Paris. [dont le bail s’étale sur 15 ans]. We worked to create these self-contained accommodations. Today the center can accommodate 60 people in quality living space.“This work lasted a year and a half and used a budget of 3 million euros, a third of which was funded by the National Housing Authority (ANAH).”