Paris, March 26 (IANS) After the Cannes film festival got postponed to the end of June, the authorities have opened the doors of the French Riviera, the resort where the event takes place, to the destitute.
“We have between 50 and 70 people here every night,” said Dominique Aude-Lasset, an official at Cannes Town Hall, on Wednesday.
Eight days ago, President Emmanuel Macron told France’s 67 million people to stay at home to protect themselves from the pandemic, and to slow its spread. That’s a big problem for the country’s estimated 12,000 homeless who live on the streets, France 24 reported.
There is concern the coronavirus could have an outsized impact on the homeless who often live without access to proper sanitation and sometimes suffer underlying illnesses. Many rely on handouts from a public now confined indoors.
At the entrance, a worker in a face mask takes the temperature of each homeless person each time they enter the site. Inside, there is an eating area, shower block and communal space with television and games. In a cavernous, low-ceiling room, camp beds have been set up in three long lines.
There are also four kennels to house man’s best friend.
“We know dogs are precious for people living on the streets,” Aude-Lasset said.