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Solidarity against the virus: How to contribute at your level?

Solidarity against the virus: How to contribute at your level?

Meeting these 4 associations: Infirmiers de Rue, Home Maison Dupré, Samu Social and Sister’s House in order to know their difficulties and needs in the fight against Covid-19.

Discover each of their experiences!

The difficulties and needs following Covid-19?

The situation has totally changed because nowadays the organisation is focusing on prevention and symptoms’screening as well as providing basic needs such as food, first aid, masks and gels.
Moreover, following the closure of shops and day centers, the homeless are greatly disrupted in their activities and habits. This especially vulnerable and health-sensitive public is an important concern for Infirmiers de Rue:
"The number homeless and the precariousness of society in general continues to increase" explains Sarah. 
According to Sarah, "being able to be financed at the level of our maraudes, rounds" is for the moment their priority. Infirmiers de Rue has tripled the number of their maraudes (rounds), from 5 to 15 per week, which means an enormous need in terms of human resources as well as sanitary equipment such as masks and sanitizing gel.
In a health situation such as Covid-19, Infirmiers de Rue tells us about the complexity of applying barrier gestures such as washing hands, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing with their patients.
Homeless people must absolutely be rehoused as soon as possible in order to benefit from a minimum protection and health care. Nevertheless, Infirmiers de Rue remains positive thanks to the citizens’ involvement.


 “The biggest difficulty was to make women and children understand what Coronavirus is," says Gregory. The virus meant a terrible isolation for these women and children due to the closure of common areas such as the dining room. Implementing new rules in the house did not make the situation any easier. It was no longer possible for these women to meet each other in their bedrooms. They also lost privileges such as the opportunity to help in the kitchen. As a result, the house is constantly trying to find alternatives, by setting up a mobile kitchen in the dining room so they can still cook, for example. 

 These new conditions and alternatives require the respect of sanitary rules such as wearing masks and gloves and using gels. Currently, the house has provided a small quantity of masks for the team, but Grégory says: "we have 100 masks per week, knowing that we use 5 each day"

The problem is that these means against the virus are material goods that everyone needs, and this is an extra complication in the lives of these women.


The association has different types of centers: for isolated men and women, family and permanent ones. After Covid-19 the permanent centers were the most affected, undergoing the most changes. 

After a difficult lock-down period, the many changes such as keeping a social distance of 1.5 meters have been constraining. For Samu Social, the limitation of inside accommodation space for patients was extremely complicated both in shared and private rooms. However, this has led to the need to open new centers with political help and support and to create new organisational and sanitary standards.

The Samu Social insists on the closeness and physical contact they are exposed to on a daily basis.  They consider wearing masks as well as sanitizer as essential at this time. "Workers and temporary residents are asked to wash their hands thoroughly upon entry and exit and to wear masks throughout the structure to ensure their safety and the safety of others," explains Clément, a nurse of the Samu Social. Nevertheless, the Samu Social notices and appreciates the developing collective consciousness amongst the workers as well as the residents.

 "They realize that to protect the others they have to wear a mask and it seems to be working well in the center so far." 


"Before, during the 15 hours the house was open, there were always three volunteers for the evening shift, two staying over at night and two for the morning shift. With the lock-down, we had to move to a 24-hour attendance. To do this, we had to organize in teams with the volunteer citizen in order to have 2 people at all times," said” Adrianna (role). 

 Then Sister’s House set up strict hygiene measures, hand washing stands, daily sanitation of all surfaces with the collaboration of the housed women. 

Being in the house 24 hours a day, brought a lot of thinking but also brooding on tragic events.  That’s why Sister’s house has set up a whole series of activities such as sports, self-defense and art classes or outdoor moments every night to discuss the issues of the house. All these activities keep the women busy and also allow them to participate collectively in the development of the project. ("The majority of the tasks are done by the girls who divide into teams for every day of the week, who cook and are therefore actors of this project").

 "There has obviously been a whole series of additional purchases that have followed these specific hygiene measures. New cleaning products allowing the daily needed sanitation, for example." explains Adrianna (role). The supply of Sister’s House depends mainly on collections made by volunteers in supermarkets, which had to close due to the lock-down. As a result, all the food and hygiene supplies for 40 women suddenly stopped. Sister’s House called out for financial donations in order to make large quantity purchases.