In November, a new day centre for women living in on the streets opened in Paris, called ‘Accueil Louise et Rosalie’. This project is the result of a close collaboration between AIC-France (la Fédération Française des Equipes Saint Vincent) and the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, in partnership with the Congregation of the Mission. It was established in response to the recent increase in the number of homeless women in the city, a phenomenon that has certainly been exacerbated by the consequences of the current health crisis. These women often live in insecure and socially isolated situations, hence the need to improve the range of services available to them in the centre of Paris.
Initially open five half-days a week, the centre can accommodate up to 20 women at a time. The women receive breakfast and hot drinks, and lunch on Sundays. They are able to use showers and hygiene products, a laundry room and a rest area. They also have access to basic health care, a social worker, medical referrals when necessary, and a Wi-Fi connection. Around 60 volunteers are receiving ongoing training to be able to run the centre on a day-to-day basis and are available to guide and support the women who use it.