Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Camping


Last winter, to attract people's (and the government's) attention on homeless people sleeping in the street, the Médecins sans frontières du Monde (World doctors) NGO gave them about 300 bright coloured tents to use as a shelter. As expected by the organization, some Parisians started to complain... and put pressure on the Paris town hall and the Government to solve the problem - that had not been solved even if we were no longer in winter. And it worked! About 7 million euros are going to be invested in new shelters and they will open 24/7 unlike previously. Still, there are about 60 tents left in Paris, like this one, that I photographed... on the back of the Beaubourg Center!

35 comments:

  1. en ouverture, un changement sur les logements parisiens aux programmes... je ne pensse pas vue les extremes qui se leve pour mai 2007

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  2. As unsightly as those tents may be they are sheltering those people from conditions that may not be known to much of us. I have been down some of the streets in San Francisco where some of those homeless are forced into doorways and shelter themselves with paper boxes. That is no way to live. It's wonderful that shelters are being provided for them.

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  3. i was reading an article about that....they said that in the summer, it posed serious health risks.....

    there are SO many homeless in Washington DC...it's a shame and something needs to be done...

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  4. Wow, what an awesome humanitarian gesture Eric...a close friend of mine goes into San Francisco about twice a month handing out new socks, blankets, gloves and underwear to the homeless...and these poor folks just cherish them...I can't imagine what they'd do with a tent...amazing...yet a sad fact of life...

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  5. These tents are a great idea because they make visible a problem that can't be solved by providing tents. Very smart.

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  6. Eric, when you say that this one was on the back of the Beauboug Center, do you mean near the Pompidou museum? Wow! Some people might think it's just a modern art exhibit.

    For those interested, here is a link to Medecins du Monde (in French) and Medecins sans Frontieres.

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  7. Thanks for making us aware of the DWB/MSF effective measures with these tents in Paris. As the fall and winter weather approches, it is really good to know that new shelter space will be available.
    -Kim

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  8. A tent is at least better than a cardboard box, because it saves a little dignity.
    And it compells us Parisians to see how wrong things are going for the very poor here. So many people coming from far away places to Paris with the ilusion they can make a fortune here, alas.
    Besides, it is Médecins du Monde that had this idea and gave the tents, as you can read on it. This NGO has a long tradition of caring for problems in France too and not only out of our borders like Médecins sans Frontières

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  9. Sorry, I'm not sure I can't write what follows in proper English…

    Lately I noticed that a Metro ventilation grill, on the sidewalk of Avenue de Clichy (angle of rue des Dames), which was used by a homeless to keep a little warmth, had been replaced by a sort of chimney. Was it after pressure of the nearby residents, the RATP, the Mayor of the XVIIe arrondissement ? I don't know but I must say I felt shocked by this not-so-"cool" way of making the problem disappear…

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  10. Very clever idea! Hmmm....i'm thinking if this will work in Manila....

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  11. Fantastic, terrific, I love it ! So romantic !

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  12. This really should be done world wide. Perhaps it will make people think and then DO something about this tragic situation.

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  13. This may not be your "stereotypical" sight of Paris, but it is, unfortunately, part of the city's landscape. Homelessness is a true problem in large urban areas, and, frankly, I am at a loss when it comes to trying to find a solution for it.

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  14. Hi Eric !

    No, it wasn't MSF, but Medecins du Monde.

    There is a world of difference between the two, beginning with the fact that MSF is non-political and competent.

    What all the means – contrary to the assertions in the press - is that the Parisian taxpayer will have to foot the bill, yet again.

    Unsurprising that people are moving out of Paris like there is no tomorrow.

    There is, and it will be an expensive one !

    Best,
    L'Amerloque

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  15. What a brilliant idea! Make the issue more visible so that when the "proper" people complain, something will be done. And of course helping the homeless with a way to keep dry at the same time. Hats off to MSF!

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  16. You gave us a photo and news not published in USA newspapers. Our cities are packed with the homeless. Propaganda is issued here saying that the homeless prefer their lifestyle. What a lie! We spend billions on that dumb Iraq war while we neglect the homeless and the illiterate. I always feel so useless when it comes to these important issues.

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  17. it seems something is far from me...i feel something around me.
    It is really a good idea to attract the attention from people and government.

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  18. I concur with those who think that the bright tents bring public attention to the fore - and provide a good service to those who have way too few resources for their own good.

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  19. Romantic? Somebody said "romantic"?!!! Arghhhh!!!!

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  20. Eric, you've done another great job of pointing out social constrasts. Paris, the city of beauty, of love, of...as much homelessness as any other big city. Johnnyparsons: riding in a shuttle from hotel to airport in Chicago, I was chatting up two lovely women...who remarked on all the homeless in Chicago. One of the belle dames insisted that the homeless wanted to live that way, and her boyfriend's brother proves it. Of course, it turns out the guy is mentally disabled, can't remember to take his meds, nobody knows what he's talking about...but he says he wants to be homeless. Voila!

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  21. Though it's not the usual glamourous PDP picture it's a terrible problem that "developed countries" haven't managed well...
    Anyway, it's good to hear that the visual startegy of Médecins du Monde worked.

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  22. Anna said...
    Fantastic, terrific, I love it ! So romantic !

    Anna....is there an experience you had in a tent somwhere that you wish to share with all of us that makes this photo "romantic" for you? I'm eager to hear!

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  23. I always feel so useless when it comes to these important issues.

    Me too, Johnny. Me too...

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  24. Soosha_q and Johnnyparsons and everyone else: we are not useless. We are communicating, even across thousands of miles. Right now, telling the truth is indeed a revolutionary act. Vote! Care! Give a damn! Love.

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  25. Jeff, you rock!

    Good night everyone. Long day today...

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  26. Great shot!

    I remember you telling me about these tents during my visit.

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  27. Agree with you Jeff. At least talking about them makes people more aware. Now if we could solve this whole religion thing... ;-)

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  28. The main enemies are not terrorists. The main enemy is poverty.

    Greetings from Perú

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  30. We are on visite in Paris and found another couple of tents in Montmartre...

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