Our house

On my way back from work into the centre of Strasbourg I stopped to cross P1030584the main road through the southern edge of Strasbourg which takes you into Germany and there were these wonderful, colourful blooming flowerbeds.  Whose heart could fail to be lifted on seeing such a riot of colour lining the road?  I also liked the juxtaposition of this with the poster for the ‘Quartier Fleuris’ competition.  So I was a bit surprised a bit further on to see some homelessP1030585 people campaigning for somewhere to live.  Something that I have noticed as a difference is the number of people homeless living in tents around Strasbourg.  There are people living rough in the UK but the answer has not been to give them tents as has happened here.  You can understand the thinking, that they help people gain somewhere to P1030586live but does it institutionalise the problem, people get used to living in tents and the pressure is removed from the authorities to do something to get people a roof over their heads.  As you see from the picture left this encampment is opposite the offices of the Communaute Urbaine Strasbourg.  When I first arrived there there were a lot more tents to be publicly seen around Strasbourg, under bridges, under big trees and in other public spaces.  In the last year a lot of these have disappeared.  I don’t know if that is because of the election of a Socialist Mayor and the provision of a lot more public housing or whether they have been moved on.  An organisation, Les enfants de Don Quichotte, (and wiki) has been using the visibility of tents in public spaces to campaign about the number of people homeless in France, including having a demonstration in Strasbourg in April which was broken by the forces of order.  Our landlord is thinking about selling our flat and has been talking with us about it so the thought about being homed is something that I’ve been thinking about.  Thankfully I’ve not the drug or other problem which most of the people sleeping around Strasbourg in their tents face.  As it’s the headline for the story, and the only possible one I think, here are Madness:

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