Winter in Calais
The prefecture launched the usual winter action plan called “Great Cold”. But they did not take into account recommendations, questions, and concerns of NGO and associations. This year’s action plan is designed as last year 2017/2018, the access to urgent shelter is still very complicated due to how far they are. The opening is effective only from -5°C and people are asked to leave every morning, either minors or adults.
Associations report discrimination against exiled persons, because the action plan is aimed to help migrants especially, and excludes people exiled from common law’s sheltering aids. Alongside with other associations, Utopia 56 denounces the lack of access to these places due to a restricted public transportation system. We anticipate that a major part of people won’t be able to reach the shelters. Finally, the Prefecture (French State) forgets its obligations by proposing an action plan for urgent sheltering only triggered in harsh weather for minors, consistently sending back to the streets every morning, and almost a total lack of social work.
On the field, winter does not prevent from daily expulsions, police harassment persists and police bullying are coming back. Distributions, night walks, and sheltering teams work a lot to tackle winter. Inspite of reduction of the volunteers’ number. We are thinking on giving a new momentum in our work: we want to develop citizen hosting, collection of donations, local sensibilization. WE contacted mayors, schools, and sports stores to present our projects. We are patiently waiting for their feedbacks and interests. We keep on social round ups, development of new ideas requires a strong citizens’ mobilization and time. Don’t hesitate to reach out! We need you!