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Emergency shelter: the “Extreme Cold” measure activated

In light of the very low temperatures announced for the coming days, the City of Geneva has activated its “Extreme Cold” plan. The emergency shelter measure has been reinforced and is open all individuals within the municipality.

Plan Grand froid

An extra 24 places have been made available at the Pâquis-Centre Civil Defence shelter in addition to the 230 places available throughout the winter in the centres organised by the City, where the opening hours have been adapted. The measure is complemented by associative partners. During the “Extreme Cold” plan, any member of the public concerned about a homeless person can call 022 427 88 00 (Geneva health emergency line) 24/7.  

The Social Service offers an emergency shelter measure for the most vulnerable individuals to ensure their protection during this particularly difficult winter period. When daytime temperatures do not exceed zero degrees and temperatures at night remain below the zero-degree threshold for several days/nights, the “Extreme Cold” measure is activated. At such particularly low temperatures, the wind-chill factor and dampness in the air must also be taken into consideration. The “Extreme Cold” plan relies on the active collaboration of the Fire and Rescue Service.

According to Christina Kitsos, the magistrate responsible for social cohesion and solidarity, “It is essential that all homeless people be offered the safety of shelter during this period of extreme cold. We must meet their vital needs, as their lives are at stake. One difficulty lies in the absence of accurate statistics relating to the number of people concerned. A study launched by the City is under way. We must demonstrate a certain degree of agility in order to adapt the measures accordingly.” Christina Kitsos applauds the commitment of the staff of both the Social Service and the Fire and Rescue Service who ensure that the operational implementation of the plan is both quick and effective.

More places and revised opening hours

Throughout the winter, 230 places are available in the different shelters within the municipality. Admissions are organised at the Club Social Rive Droite and provide access to one of these emergency shelters.

In the Eaux-Vives district, the Richemont Civil Defence shelter has 50 places for adult men. The Centre Frank-Thomas (130 places) is open to vulnerable people and women. In the district of Saint-Jean Charmilles, the Châtelaine Civil Defence shelter provides a further 50 places.

The people housed in these facilities have a bed and are given a warm meal in the evening and breakfast the following morning. They can also take a shower and benefit from a bag-minding service. Professionals in the social sector are on hand to create ties and answer questions from the beneficiaries.

The people housed at the Centre Frank-Thomas have access to healthcare thanks to a partnership with the units of the Geneva teaching hospital (HUG), which intervene on site.

With the activation of the “Extreme Cold” plan, the emergency shelters open their doors at 6.15 p.m. (one hour earlier than usual). Furthermore, the Civil Defence shelter in Pâquis-Centre complements the measures already in place with an additional 24 places, which comply with the current health measures. The services available and opening hours are the same as in the other two centres within the city, and admissions are also organised at the Club Social Rive Droite.

In addition to the welcome offered in the shelters operated by the City, the beneficiaries of the Club Social Rive Gauche can enjoy hot meals, in compliance with the current health measures, at Plainpalais community hall. From 8 a.m. Sunday to Friday, 120 breakfasts are distributed free of charge while 230 free lunches are also provided from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Reporting a homeless person

Within the scope of the “Extreme Cold” plan, any member of the public wishing to report a homeless person can call the hotline on 022 427 88 00 (Geneva health emergency line created during the recent pandemic), which is available 24/7.


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Article modifié le 11.01.2021 à 08:30