A fitting welcome for the socially excluded

The "Les Œuvres de la mie de pain" association has been working with the capital's homeless and poor for over a century. To continue fulfilling its remit, one of its reception centres has been renovated.

Social and Employment

13th arrondissement of Paris, France

Pascale Barillot

80,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2005/10/04

Project leader

Les Oeuvres de la mie de pain

"These days, social exclusion can strike without warning and many of the homeless were active members of society only a few years ago. Last winter, the "Arche d'avenir" lacked the resources required to help those in need under appropriate conditions. Help is urgently required."

Pascale Barillot

Open-air premises, including the showers... A building which is poorly insulated against low and high temperatures. Bare, unpainted walls. To tackle this situation, the "Les Œuvres de la mie de pain" association wanted to fully renovate the "Arche d'avenir", its day reception centre located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.
Over the years, the need has become even more pressing due to the high inflow caused by the current economic context: every day 130 victims of social exclusion call into the centre to benefit from essential services: laundry room, collection of personal mail, free consultations with doctors and nurses, contact with social workers, etc. Those with the necessary capabilities are also given assistance in finding work.

Protecting jobs as well as the building

In the course of 2005, it appeared absolutely vital to prevent the closure of the reception centre under the hygiene regulations and to substantially improve the reception and living conditions for all users. The upgrading and technical improvements to the premises would also secure the jobs of twelve workers employed here by "Les Œuvres de la mie de pain".
Owing to the obsolescence of the premises, the total cost of the work amounted to 140,000 euros. The Veolia Foundation's significant engagement alongside other players like the RATP and the department of Paris allowed the completion of the project in early 2007.
The renovation was eagerly awaited, and Oeuvres de la Mie de Pain can now welcome the most destitute in satisfactory conditions in terms of comfort, hygiene and respect for human dignity.