Photo shows the entrance to the Wanteraktioun shelter for people with no fixed abode, near Findel airport
A temporary shelter for homeless people regardless of nationality is to remain open until the end of May at least, a minister has confirmed.
Since 2001, the Wanteraktioun (WAK), a shelter run by a handful of not-for-profits, has opened during the coldest months of the year, from 1 December to 31 March.
Responding to a parliamentary question on provision for people with no fixed abode and asylum seekers on Tuesday, integration minister Corinne Cahen (DP) said that part of a raft of services offered for the most-vulnerable people during the health crisis, the centre would remain operational in Findel until 31 May, a date that could be further extended depending on the evolution of the situation in May.
Additional services have also been introduced to limit the movement of residents. These include serving midday meals and ancillary services, such as a drop-in medical office.
“Homeless people have the opportunity to have their clothes washed and take a shower at the Wanteraktioun,” Cahen said. She added that the day shelter, the "Café Courage", continues to remain open every day, including public holidays. Here the conditions of access have been adapted to the hygiene measures. Cahen said that staff and volunteers were issued with masks and gloves and disinfecting hand wash was available for all stakeholders. Mobile toilets have been installed in front of the Bonnevoie cultural centre, for the use of this population. While not-for-profit Stëmm vun der Strooss and the Vollekskichen continue to distribute meals to the most deprived people.
Only the reception office at the "Para-Chute" railway station has been closed, reportedly because it was not possible to respect the social distancing rules on the premises. The minister said that cleaning teams had been reinforced to ensure maximum hygiene and help limit the spread of the coronavirus in facilities. In the event of a suspected case of infection within the WAK, the patient is transferred to a separate building on the same site until the results are returned. According to the minister, if they test positive, they will be transferred to a specialised centre for further care.