The Brussels winter plan presented on Wednesday will have 1,241 spaces available for the homeless. This is 281 more (29%) than last year. There will be no distinction made for people without papers. On Tuesday, the District purchased a building on Rue Jan Blockx à Schaerbeek to welcome families throughout the year, said the Brussels Minister for Housing Celine Fremault. In addition to the 206 permanent spaces in Samu-social, Ariane center and Cornerstone, 865 spaces have also been made available specifically for winter period which begins on November 1st. For periods of extreme cold, 150 spaces are guaranteed in two private buildings, one owned by Belgacom. Twenty spaces have been reserved by the Prince Laurent Foundation for homeless people with dogs.
Of the 865 spaces made available specifically for the winter plan, 350 of them were distributed last year in the CPAS building in Brussels located on Rue Royale. A building must be rented to provide 400 additional spaces. Pascal Smet, member of the United College of the Joint Community Commission (COCOM), in charge of Aid Policy for People, has asked the federal government to pay the rent. On December 20th, a temporary building will offer 115 spaces currently housed on Rue du Trône. It is expected that the building purchased on Tuesday will be able to house 40 to 50 families.
“This government will not be indifferent to the fact that people are sleeping in the street,” says Pascal Smet. “This reality is too often accepted. We will try to give a structural response by reorganizing the entire sector next month.”
Jonathan Morrison (Source: Belga)