Infrastructure minister François Bausch with families minister Corinne Cahen at a press conference on Tuesday
Construction is underway on a purpose-built shelter close to the airport that will house up to 200 homeless people during the coldest winter months.
The €12m project would replace the temporary Wanter Aktioun shelter established in the IEE building, which belongs to the airport authority, and has been used since 2012.
But, those in need will have to wait another year before the new facilities is operational—construction will not be completed until mid-2019.
Unveiling the complex on Tuesday, infrastructure minister François Bausch (déi Gréng) and families minister Corinne Cahen (DP) explained it would comprise two buildings--one with separate dormitories for men and women, separate sanitary facilities, and a cantine where food prepared outside will be served.
The second building will serve as an emergency accommodation for victims of fires and other traumatic incidents. It would be equipped with bathrooms, and kitchen and dining facilities. Both will be constructed using locally-sourced beechwood and concrete, meeting state building energy standards.
“Here people can be properly support with a lot of dignity, more than in the last place,” Inter-Actions president and psychologist Gaby Damjanovic told Delano on Tuesday. She explained that in the old building, up to 100 people would sleep in a single room.
Photo: Delano. The shelter at Luxembourg-Findel was taking shape on 11 September 2018
More flexibility, more privacy
The new building offers smaller dormitories and some which can be split into two. Privacy, she said, was important, particularly for families who are currently separated in the night shelter with men sleeping separately to women and children. She added the new facility would enable the few families that use the facility to remain together in family rooms.
People seeking shelter from 1 December to the end of March currently register for a place in the Inter-Actions outreach centre in Bonnevoie. Shuttle buses ferry clients to the facility, a service which will continue in future.
As with the existing facility, consumption of drugs or alcohol will be forbidden inside, families ministry advisor Malou Kapgun explained. However, staff will continue to make an effort to accommodate special requests, such as welcoming people with dogs.
“We’ve not reached the limit of capacity,” Kapgun added, saying that the new centre should be sufficient to cope with amount of rough sleepers in Luxembourg during the coldest months, a figure which fluctuates between 80 and 150 depending on the weather conditions.