The “unbearable” heat for the Dijon homeless

We tend to forget: living on the street during the summer is at least as complicated as the winter… if not more so. Since mid-June 2022, temperatures have reached 30 degrees in Côte-d’Or. To prevent the homeless from suffering too much, the associations swapped the blankets for water bottles during marauding. The reception centers, such as that of the Dijonnaise Society for Assistance through Work (SDAT), are also adapting to offer more bottles of water and accommodate as many people as possible, in particular those who request showers.

Dijon, city too hot?

Quentin has lived on the street for five years, he hates summer: “the heat is unbearable”. Partly because of downtown Dijon, not enough shade according to him : “The few cool places we have are Place de la République, Darcy Park or the train station, but there are always a lot of people”. The only solution is to find a porch or stand under a tree in a park and not move.

On the other hand, Dijon does not lack fountains, but in them you can neither drink nor shower there. As for drinking fountains…“there are some in the Parc de la Colombière and a few in the city center, but they are hidden, you have to know them to find them”. For showers, you have to go to the reception centers. Thomas Dumont, head of the SDAT center rue des Corroyeurs notes that more and more people ask to shower : twenty-two people a day are showering at the moment, compared to eight in normal times.

Other measures to be planned

As long as the prefecture does not authorize it, the reception centers are closed on Sundays, an unsuitable situation for Stéphanie, homeless since April 2022: “we have no help, we have nothing, from Sunday to Saturday we have no access to drinking water, showers or the food they provide here”.

This problem could be solved in the coming days, explains Thomas Dumont, manager of the SDAT site in Dijon: “as soon as the state initiates the heat wave plan, we can open on Sundays and we intensify the marauding times”. For the moment, one marauding per day is organized, in addition to those of the Red Cross, which will also increase if the plan is triggered. During these raids, the objective is also to help homeless people who feel unwell or who need help. A number is dedicated to notify the SDAT if you come across a homeless person in distress: 06 70 04 65 75.