Is SDFi charity La Barque doomed to disappear?

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Toulouse City Hall will soon own the building on the island of Ramier, which was previously loaned to the La Barque homeless day care association. The chairman, without a proposal for a new relocation, To get lost.

association La Barque Toulouse Ramier island
Association La Barque, based on the island of Ramier in Toulouse, will have to leave its facilities before the end of the year CC screenshot Google map

“I am crazy. La Barque is a family association and it will disappear,” says president Carmen Creyssels. Created in Toulouse in 1979, this structure has been using the buildings on the Ile du Ramier for nearly 20 years to host the homeless three afternoons a week. “Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, about forty dangerous people come here to relax, have a drink, chat for a snack or play board games “The president, surrounded by a dozen volunteers, explains.

Only on 16 June a phone call from Toulouse City Hall rang the death knell. “A lady explained this to me We would have had to leave the building before the end of the year without giving us a date or an exact reason. ‘ says the octagon in a trembling voice.

From Rue Peyrolières to Ile du Ramier

From the 1980s to 2005, La Barque occupied buildings on rue Peyrolières, in the center of Toulouse. “Our association clearly embarrassed local residents and tradersso the Town Hall offered to move us to the existing building at 11 avenue Gabriel Biénès”, recalls Carmen Creyssels.

This change of address was accompanied by some fears, especially due to its distance from the city centre. But the President explains that concerns quickly dissipated, with the Ramier island property “having a larger, very well-equipped and adjoining courtyard.” Also, today the about ten minutes walk from a solidarity restaurant. “Many have lunch there before they go to La Barque and share a moment of festivity. We are the second or even the first home of the poorest,” he continues.

No relocation for association

“No one can imagine our horror,” said Carmen Creyssels. The President stated that Toulouse City Hall asked them to leave the building without offering free relocation to the new buildings. ” We’ll have to pay rent elsewhere., but the only subsidy we receive from the municipality is 1,000 Euros per year to finance the purchase of beverages and foodstuffs in the Food Bank. How can we pay the rent? she asks.

City Hall, for its part, “the municipal solidarity administration has contacted the mayor of Barque.helping to find solutions, especially by sharing facilities with other associations “Therefore, proposals were made but not accepted. “I am not in favor of pairing La Barque with any other structure. Most of the volunteers are old. We have habits, beneficiaries, we are one big family and I don’t want that to change”, Carmen Creyssels replies.

The green lung of Toulouse

But then why does Toulouse town hall want to recapture its property? The answer lies within The “Grand Parc Garonne” project in Toulouse Métropole. Indeed, the aim of this project is to redeveloping the Garonne shores, To create approximately 3,000 hectares of green space with a length of 32 kilometers. ramier island, now the La Barque association is foundedIt should also be rehabilitated to become a “wide green lung” where residents can “walk, play sports, explore the island’s fauna and flora,” according to the municipality.

A “nature area” in the north of the island, equipped with sports equipment and vegetable gardens, was opened in 2020 by Jean-Luc Moudenc. To the south, the Poudrerie eco-park is arranged like a vast expanse of unspoiled nature. Later at the centre, the demolition of the old exhibition center (relocated to MEETT) will be replaced by a large seven-hectare public park combining a botanical garden and a promenade to host cultural and sporting events. La Barque’s facilities are right next door. For nowCity Hall did not specify whether they would be demolished or converted during the site’s development.

Capitol adds these reasons will be announced to the members of the association in an “official letter” soon.will also determine the closing date of the facilities. “The services of the town hall are at their disposal and ready to support them,” says the municipality. But without new offers for housing again, Carmen Creyssels fears her association will ‘die pure and simple’.