For over 10 years, more than 30,000 people have been living in social hotels [hotels providing temporary accommodation for up to three months] in Ile-de-France, including 15,000 children with an average age of 6 years old. In Seine-Saint-Denis, there are 4,357 children, of whom 2,471 are between 0 and 6 years old, who live in 127 social hotels.
Living conditions in social hotels are quite precarious and disturb children’s cognitive and psychomotor development. For example: promiscuity, the need to not make noise, limited movement, lack of games, frequently changing hotels, no school monitoring and risk of exposure to domestic violence.
Origin of the project
In 2006, Asmae opened La Chrysalide, a housing centre for very vulnerable single women with young children. Ten years later, in the family nursery of that establishment, a Reception Centre For Parents And Children (Lieu d’Accueil Enfants-Parents, LAEP) was created, inspired by Francoise Dolto’s Green Houses, where a place for listening, discussion, and free games is offered to children 0 to 6 years old, along with their parents. A team of early childhood specialists and volunteers welcomed families from the neighbourhood who were in very precarious situations.
From January to May of 2018, a Reception Centre for Parents and Children with an innovative concept was put into place. Basically, every Saturday morning, it went to a social hotel that housed numerous families near department 115 in department 93, and attendance was much higher there. The positive feedback from parents confirmed our approach – the experience was successful.