Cardboard tents distributed to Brussels homeless

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People pass-by a homeless person sitting and begging at the bottom of some stairs at the Friedrichstrasse train station in Berlin, Germany, on Christmas Day 25 December 2017Image copyright
EPA

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Many people are uncomfortable with current levels of homelessness in Western cities

A project in Brussels, Belgium is pioneering portable cardboard tents for homeless people to sleep in.

The cardboard tents, known as the ORIG-AMI project, can be transported by users on their backs as they seek shelter.

In Brussels, normal tents are forbidden, meaning that homeless people are often moved on by police.

Those behind the project hope that their tents will allow the homeless somewhere safe to sleep.

The tents will be tolerated by police, they said.

The cardboard tents were created by users of a provincial job rehabilitation centre, local news website BX1 reported.

The cardboard was donated by a cardboard factory and the finished product was assembled by a workshop at the Lantin prison, the website added.

Many shelters in the Belgian capital are already fully occupied by winter time and some homeless people do not want to go into shelters where they may be separated from their pets.

Xavier Van der Stappen, president of an NGO involved with the project, told the French language broadcaster RTBF that the fact that “2,600 people live on the streets in Brussels, in one of the most comfortable countries in the world is hard to accept”.

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Media captionHugo Sugg: ‘I’ve been homeless more than once’

The tents were presented on Thursday at the Gare du Nord station. Twenty of them are to be distributed to homeless people in Brussels along with backpacks containing essentials from another NGO, l’Appel du Coeur.

Depending on feedback from the homeless users, a second production run could be made in 2019, the NGO said.



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