Refitting the premises of a barge to welcome the most disadvantaged people

Anchored in the heart of the urban community, close to the areas where vagrants concentrate, the barge Péniche Accueil is crucially valuable in the Lyon social fabric.

Social and Employment

Lyon, France

Philippe Imbert

€10,000 to the Selection Committee at 2010/03/30

Project leader

Péniche Accueil


For about ten years already, the nonprofit Péniche Accueil has been striving to maintain or rebuild social links among adults living in extreme uncertainty. In Lyon, opposite 37 quai Gailleton, it offers five days per week, to the most disadvantaged, an unconditional welcome, a possibility of counseling, information and guidance, access to hygiene (toilets, showers, hairdresser), care in association with Médecins du Monde, and miscellaneous activities: games, meals, outings, entertainment.

Apart from the availability of warm beverages and care, the counseling offered by Péniche Accueil also covers the administrative areas and various activities designed to recreate a dialogue which this public lost sight of ages ago.

The nonprofit operates every afternoon throughout the year and Sundays in connection with the "winter plan" (mid-November to mid-April) with four full time employees and about fifty unpaid volunteers. The number of people welcomed daily varies from about forty to over a hundred.

Giving hospitality its essential attributes: the availability of helpful volunteers who respect the needs of each


Since the interior of the barge consists today of a single room, which functions as a reception, common room and access to toilets and showers, the promiscuity causes constant movements that tend to discourage the various users, not to speak of the vagrants who drop in for the first time. Hence the project calls for refitting the indoor space of the barge for the reception part, by redesigning the place and role of the cafeteria in this space, while meeting the hygiene and safety requirements by a complete separation between the cafeteria and part of the sanitary amenities. It is also planned to replace the current system of doing the dishes in the sink with appropriate equipment, thereby reducing water consumption and the use of detergents. Better hygiene will also help receive the feminine public in better conditions.

The Veolia Foundation is participating in financing the refitting operations.


Péniche Accueil: Furnishing a barge to optimize the reception of vulnerable persons.
Domain: Social and employment
Country: France
Endowment: 2012/06/05
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