A barge on the Seine to offer the homeless hospitality and the possibility of social reinsertion. Inaugurated on 30 June last by the Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Mrs Christine Boutin, “Le Fleuron Saint-Michel” is the latest of the Order of Malta’s projects in France.
An authentic social centre, le Fleuron Saint-Michel can accommodate up to 30 people, whether youths with problems or unemployed adults aged between 18 and 55 years seeking permanent work. Besides the volunteers, eight people offer assistance, professional training and administrative services on a daily basis. The concept of this new type of social unit is to build a bridge for people hovering between the streets and re-integration in the labour market and society.
The young are offered a pathway towards integration in the world of work, including apprenticeships; adults are helped to find jobs; those living on the streets with their dogs are offered a place to stay. For all, the aim is to give a roof, warmth and the assistance they need.
“Le Fleuron Saint-Michel” is 55 metres long and 6.65 wide; installed in this space are cabins for sleeping and offices, as well as a laundry, dining room, library and radio, tv and computer room.
This is the second of the Ordre de Malte France’s barges on the Seine. Inaugurated in 1999, in 2007 “Le Fleuron Saint-Jean” helped 960 people, providing over 17,000 overnight stays.