Figure is ‘probably far below reality’, says first deputy mayor
“Nearly 3,000” homeless have been counted in the French capital, the first deputy mayor of Paris announced on Wednesday.
For the first time, the municipality decided to count the number of its homeless.
“Nearly 3,000 people were counted […] in the Parisian public space,” the first deputy mayor of Paris Bruno Julliard told a news conference, adding that this figure was “probably far below reality”.
On Thursday night, some 2,000 volunteers and officials counted people sleeping outside, huddled in doorways, in parking lots, in subway stations or taken in by hospitals for health reasons.
“All car parks were not taken into account, all stairwells of buildings, […] were not taken into account, we did not wake the homeless, we did not open the tents in which there could be several people, “Julliard explained.
Several welfare organizations put the number at 5,000 and more.
In France, there is no official census of the homeless. Only a 2012 INSEE — France’s national statisitics institute — survey estimated that 143,000 people were homeless in France, including 28,800 French-speaking adults in the Ile-de-France region\ which encompasses Paris.
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that by the end of 2017 no one would be sleeping on the streets.
“We’ve failed there,” Macron admitted last week, pointing to a continuing influx of African and South Asian migrants and refugees who often end up camping out.