An empty hotel in Paris opens its doors to the homeless
With a view of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacred Heart Church in Paris, the Avenir Montmartre Hotel attracts tourists and visitors under normal circumstances, but the fears that coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic kept its guests away, so the hotel opened its doors to the homeless.
For a year, the hotel management handed over the rooms to the "Emaius Solidarity" charity, which is currently using them to house a group of people. If not for this initiative, their fate would be on the streets.
Without the room that housed him in the hotel, Ibrahim, an asylum seeker from Mali, would now sleep in restaurant kitchens where he did some temporary work, which had no alternative but to the street.
He said, "Immediately upon my arrival (to Paris), I did not know anyone. I was moving around in temporary housing, and sometimes sleeping in the kitchen, or next to the trash bin."
He added, "Some days I would find a simple job, get around 40 euros, 30 euros, 50 euros, and then go out. When I find these jobs, I pay 30 euros in a hotel to sleep one night. I can't do this all my life."
At the Hotel Avenir Montmartre, the charity covers the cost of his room.
Residents get three meals a day in the hotel's breakfast room, and each room has a TV and an en suite bathroom.
For the charity, the hotel is a safe base from which it can try to rebuild lives for the residents.
The charity covers the cost with government assistance.
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