2016-07-08_12h28_40Our member The Salvation Army Europe published a news regarding the visit of the French President, Mr François Hollande, on the occasion of the official reopening of the La Cité de Refuge centre in Paris.

La Cité de Refuge was initially inaugurated in 1933, in the presence of the then President of France, Albert Lebrun. It is one of only two buildings in Paris designed by the famous architect Le Corbusier, often described as a father of modern architecture. Projects to house people living in slum conditions would become an important part of his life and work but La Cité de Refuge – designed in conjunction with his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret – was Le Corbusier’s first scheme for the ‘urban poor’.

Some changes were necessitated by evolving laws and standards. While the residents once slept in dormitories, they are now housed in rooms or studios, and the buildings are now accessible to people with disabilities.

The refurbished centre can now house up to 143 people, including families. Residents are assisted in their search for long-term housing and are also offered training, employment and education opportunities, preparing them to take their places in the modern workplace. The building, which is pretty much self-sufficient, has its own kitchen, dining room, rooftop terrace/garden, classrooms, workshops, laundry, library and gym.

Before seeing some of the facilities and meeting residents, President Hollande officially opened the building. His speech followed a welcome by Territorial Commander, France and Belgium Territory, Colonel Daniel Naud.

The President echoed General Booth’s stirring call to social action, speaking of the ‘necessity to fight’ for a united, generous nation which works with organisations such as The Salvation Army to ‘protect human dignity’.

Find out more here (EN).

Foto ©The Salvation Army IHQ Communication