Homelessness in France

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Homelessness in France is a significant social issue, one that is estimated to affect over 140,000 people, including 30,000 children,[1]

One study of homeless in Paris found that homeless people have a high degree of social proximity to other people living in conditions of poverty.[2] And terms in the media used to describe homelessness are formed around poverty and vagrancy.[3]

Some researchers maintain that a Housing First policy would not solve the homelessness issue in France.[4][5]

Some researchers maintain that industrial restructuring in France led to the loss of jobs among blue-collar workers whose skills did not transfer readily to other job sectors, which in turn led to a rise in homelessness.[6]

Homeless children in France is not a new phenomenon; the writer Emile Zola wrote about homeless children in late nineteenth century France.[7]


  • Foyers originated in France during World War One to provide a place to eat and sleep for soldiers. After the war, foyers were used to provide accommodation for a movement of people across the country who were seeking work. It is thought that the service reduced the number of homeless unemployed youth.[8]


  1. ^ https://www.homelessworldcup.org/homelessness-statistics/
  2. ^ Firdion, Jean‐Marie, and Maryse Marpsat. "A research program on homelessness in France." Journal of Social Issues 63, no. 3 (2007): 567-587.
  3. ^ Damon, Julien, and Godfrey I. Rogers. "The Terminology of Homelessness in France in News Agency Dispatches." Population (English Edition, 2002-) 57, no. 3 (2002): 555-567.
  4. ^ Pleace, Nicholas. "Housing First." European Observatory on Homelessness (2012).
  5. ^ Pleace, Nicholas. "Exploring the potential of the ‘Housing First’model." Review for the French Government. Accessed 26 (2011).
  6. ^ Shinn, Marybeth. "International Homelessness: Policy, Socio‐Cultural, and Individual Perspectives." Journal of Social Issues 63, no. 3 (2007): 657-677.
  7. ^ Shane, Paul G. "Changing patterns among homeless and runaway youth." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 59, no. 2 (1989): 208.
  8. ^ Strategies to Combat Homelessness. United Nations Centre for Human Settlements. UN-HABITAT. 2000.