- Title: Cannes' festival palace, usually star-studded, houses homeless amid outbreak
- Date: 24th March 2020
- Summary: CANNES, FRANCE (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS) CANNES FILM FESTIVAL LOGO ON GROUND / PALAIS DES FESTIVALS ET DES CONGRES, FESTIVAL'S VENUE OFFICIAL SCANNING TEMPERATURE OF HOMELESS MAN BEDS SET UP INSIDE HALL FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE HOMELESS PEOPLE WATCHING TELEVISION BEDS FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE (SOUNDBITE) (French) CANNES CITY HALL REPRESENTATIVE, DOMINIQUE AUDE-LASSET, SAYING: "This emblematic place, the Palais des Festivals that normally houses stars, delegates, speakers, has opened its doors for homeless people who could take advantage of this setup since last Friday. We have between 50 and 70 people who are here every night. Initially, we've planned for 50 people, but during the weekend, we've been told that there has been more demand. And so while respecting social distancing, we were able to set up between 70 and 80 beds."
- Keywords: Cannes Film Festival France Palais des Congres confinement coronavirus outbreak homeless people
- Reuters ID: LVA001C6EXA9Z
- Location: CANNES, FRANCE
- City: CANNES, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:01:07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Health/Medicine
- Story Text: The Palais des Festivals should be preparing to welcome the hottest names in cinema on its red carpet. Instead, the Cannes Film Festival venue is opening its doors to the homeless who have nowhere to go during the coronavirus lockdown.
The annual film festival in the palm-fringed French Riviera town was due to take place from May 12-23 but last week organisers postponed the event until late June. It opened its doors to the destitute on Friday (March 20).
"We have between 50 and 70 people here every night," said Dominique Aude-Lasset, an official at Cannes City Hall.
Eight days ago, President Emmanuel Macron told France's 67 million people to stay at home to protect themselves from the pandemic, and to slow its spread. That's a big problem for the country's estimated 12,000 homeless who live on the streets.
There is concern the coronavirus could have an outsized impact on the homeless who often live without access to proper sanitation and sometimes suffer underlying illnesses. Many rely on handouts from a public now confined indoors.
At the entrance, a worker in a face mask takes the temperature of each homeless person each time they enter the site. Inside, there is an eating area, shower block and communal space with television and games. In a cavernous, low-ceiling room, camp-beds are set up in three long lines.
There are also four kennels to house man's best friend.
"We know that they are precious companions for all these people who live in the street," Aude-Lasset said.
(Production: Eric Gaillard, Ardee Napolitano)
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