A bright L'Éclaircie for daily hospitality in Angoulême

The only day hospitality centre for the marginalized adults of the capital of Charente, L'Éclaircie needed to be refurbished and upgraded to standard. This will soon be a fait accompli with better living conditions as the keynote.

Social and Employment

Angoulême, France

Jean-Hugues Hermant-Lagrange

15 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/12/01

Project leader


"L'Éclaircie is the only day hospitality center in the city of Angoulême that is open to all, without any restriction or preconditions. It is a place where social bonds are recreated through hospitality and meetings, where trust is recovered through listening and attendance, where dignity is regained through access to basic services; a place that overflows with humanity."

Jean-Hugues Hermant-Lagrange

"Come right in then go where you want": this is the motto of L'Éclaircie since it was inaugurated in 1994. At that time, the associations of Angoulême jointly took the decision to open a day hospitality structure for persons on the sidelines craving tea and sympathy. Very soon, the structure obtained the "Outreach Boutique" label from Fondation Abbé Pierre, governed by a Charter that makes anonymous and unrestricted hospitality a guiding principle. Only 350 day hospitality structures of this type exist in France today, and only 27 of them have obtained this label, a guarantee of integrity and professionalism of the services offered.

L'Éclaircie, where 600 to 700 persons drop in every year, offers a wide range of services (breakfast, laundry, showers, left luggage, etc.), as well as a legal status that helps persons in difficulty to return easily to "administrative existence", often the first step toward rejoining mainstream society.

A victim of its own success

Since 1994, the private house that accommodated L'Éclaircie has never seen any refurbishing. In fact, not only has the place aged but its attendance is galloping year by year. It was therefore high time to make the place more friendly and comfortable, and more modern. Refurbishing operations are planned in the building - electricity, painting, furniture, decorations - and also outside, with specific arrangements for dogs, the usual companions of those who live on the sidelines. Very few sites are designed to accommodate these animals. And this lack is often a hindrance, as we well know, to the presence of their masters in the support centers.

The operations will essentially be conducted by back-to-work personnel, thanks to the help of a neighborhood agency and a temporary workforce development agency. The association has already laid a concrete screed and tiled the floors, from its own resources. The Veolia Foundation is providing a grant to finance part of the indoor arrangements, particularly the insulation and upgrading of the electrical installation to standard. L'Éclaircie will then be even more welcoming while it consumes less energy.