Funded by

Salvation Army, Aurore, Fédération des acteurs de la solidarité, France Terre d'Asile

The context

La Halte de Jour is a drop-in centre for refugees located in Porte de la Chapelle in Paris, which has been open since 31 May 2019 and is run by the Salvation Army. For a number of years, people have been arriving in Paris every day, most of them congregating in Porte d’Aubervilliers and Porte de la Chapelle (in the 18th arrondissement). Due to the shortage of places in hostels, they have set up makeshift camps in the north-east of the capital.

Field operators began to provide these people with assistance: food, healthcare, advice and information, and administrative assistance. In order to cope with this humanitarian emergency, the City of Paris and the town of Saint-Denis decided to establish a drop-in centre with toilets and showers, a café, a rest and recreation room, and advisory services from NGOs (France Terre d’Asile Samu Social, Aurore, Action contre la faim…) in order to centralise operations and provide assistance that is as complete as possible, including social, administrative and health aspects, as well as measures to combat addiction.

In an unstable context, with the regular arrival of new migrants and the evacuation of camps, the Salvation Army took charge of setting up, running and coordinating this centre, which is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 7 pm, from 31 May 2019 till the end of May 2020. It is open to all without conditions.

Experience sharing process conducted by Groupe URD

The objective of this experience sharing process is to learn lessons from setting up the centre (preparation, coordination between organisations, resources, main challenges, etc.), so that these can help in setting up similar centres in the future. The study will make suggestions for potential areas of improvement.

The process aims to:

  • Review all the organisations that have been involved in the response focusing on the added value of such a set-up (pivotal role of the centre);
  • Identify the success factors and the critical points in relation to setting up a drop-in centre of this kind, with a specific focus on 1) the support provided in relation to the migrants’ needs, and 2) working in a network with multiple partnerships;
  • Compile good practices and know-how to increase the quality of future operations;
  • Contribute to strategic reflection among operators and political actors regarding how migrants are assisted in Paris.

This learning process will be carried out in a participatory manner and will allow actors to analyse and take a step back from their operational practices. The accent will be placed on creating a collective dynamic among the different actors, and particularly the team in charge of the centre and their related organisations, other partners (associations, institutions and political bodies), those receiving assistance and the local population, etc.

Carried out by

Valérie Léon

Trainer, researcher and evaluator (since 2012)

Johanna Baché

Researcher, evaluator and trainer (since 2013)