Against Covid-19, Hygiene and Dignity - We did it !

An extra dryer for the homeless in the DePaul France centre
March 02, 2021
Soeur Danièle Kogel
We did it

The current conditions of the pandemic are particularly difficult for the elderly, the homeless, isolated minors, migrants... In addition to the physical and emotional loneliness, there is the nervousness, the loss of reference points and the anxiety that this situation generates.

The DePaul Association offers homeless people various hygiene services (showers, laundry, emergency cloakroom) at the Périchaux centre in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, in the same way as health care (permanent visits by nurses, a doctor and a chiropodist). Many of these people living in very precarious conditions are aware of the importance of their health and hygiene in order to get by.

The project aimed to help the DePaul centre to acquire an additional tumble dryer to limit the waiting time in the reception area and to allow for social distancing without affecting the services offered.

Sister Danièle Kogel, the project leader, explains:

Thanks to this additional machine, we are better equipped to meet the growing needs of the homeless who come to Depaul. With the health crisis, the capacity of many centres has been reduced, with even less time to wash and dry clothes. Winter also brings additional hardship: wet clothes, coats, duvets mean heavier and longer laundry loads.

With the help of Rosalie's projects we have been able to meet the laundry demands so far. This means that about 10 people per day leave with clean clothes after a visit to Depaul.

This reminds me of Sarah, 63, who has been sleeping in her car for 12 years. She has been coming to Depaul for more than a year and is particularly happy to be able to take the time to look after herself and her personal hygiene: a good shower, clothes washed, dried and folded, half an hour with the iron and half an hour with the hairdryer.

Sarah leaves, as good as new, ready to face a new day. She is very meticulous: one day when we were doing the machines for the beneficiaries to limit the number of people in the laundry, she had left us some instructions for washing her clothes: "wash at 30°, dry gently, not too much detergent, a little Soupline and a lot of love. "The material goes with the spiritual, as Saint Vincent de Paul taught us. The simple task of washing and drying someone's clothes can also carry a much deeper message.

A big thank you to all the donors who supported them!

With them, thanks to you!