The Paul-VI house where the homeless people infected with the coronavirus will be housed (illustration). - M.Libert / 20 Minutes

  • A specialized accommodation center is installed in the former major seminary.
  • It can accommodate up to 43 homeless people infected with coronavirus.
  • The first two patients were taken care of last weekend.

Just a year ago, the Paul-VI house, formerly known as the “major seminary”, welcomed several families of homeless people as part of the emergency accommodation measures linked to the winter break. Even today, isolated foreign minors are accommodated there. Because, for lack of seminarians, the gigantic building, which belongs to the diocese of Lille, is largely empty. The Church therefore agreed to lend another wing of the building to the State services in order to install a reception center for the homeless infected with the coronavirus.

"The invisible have never been so visible," said Camille, co-founder of the LHA association, which takes care of the homeless on the wasteland of Saint-Sauveur. In addition to the bicycle deliverers, it is the homeless people that we meet most often in the streets of a confined Lille. However, they are not, confined. Or at least outside. And this, in spite of the accommodation places opened by the state services, not numerous enough according to the associations. Their already dramatic condition of homeless people does not immunize them against the coronavirus. It is therefore to avoid the spread of the disease within this population that a specialized accommodation center (CHS) opened, at the end of last week, in Lille Saint-Maurice.

People without heavy pathology Covid-19

It is the Red Cross which was charged by the prefecture to manage the place. In one wing of the Paul-VI house, with no possible communication with the rest of the building, 43 spaces have been fitted out to accommodate homeless people with "slight symptoms or who have already tested positive for Covid-19", specify the services. of State. Patients can only be admitted on the basis of a certificate drawn up by a doctor.

This Tuesday, two patients have already taken up their quarters at the CHS, one having arrived this weekend and the second, Monday. On site, doctors and nurses take turns to provide them with the necessary care. If symptoms worsen, patients will be admitted to hospital. "It is above all to allow these people to be followed and not to stay on the street or in accommodation for homeless people where they could contaminate this very fragile population," says the prefecture to 20 Minutes .

We have seen, in recent weeks, some people write words to their caregivers asking them to move, story that they do not bring the virus in the neighborhood. In order to avoid this kind of reaction, which is more than inappropriate, the prefecture made a point of specifying that the place will be subject to permanent security and that "everything is in place for the health security of staff and residents". But since everyone is supposed to be homebound, there should be no risk.


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  • Covid 19
  • Containment
  • Coronavirus
  • Lille