top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Homeless in France get accommodation in offices when workers go home

Participating companies offer a clean sleeping area, kitchen and bathroom in their office that would otherwise be empty

Souleymane Diarra (left) with Bureaux du Coeur founder, Pierre-Yves Loaëc. Mr Diarra spent two years living on the streets and now has his own apartment Pic: Bureaux du Coeur

Businesses in more than 20 towns are offering their offices as free accommodation to homeless people during the evenings and weekends when they would otherwise be empty.

More than 200 people have so far benefited from the Bureaux du Coeur association and 110 firms and partner associations have signed up. 

Director general of Bureaux de Coeur, Kinda Garman, said the association was now expanding its service into Bayonne, Rouen and Valence. 

People using the scheme are known as guests

Created in 2019 by a group of 15 Nantes-based entrepreneurs, Bureaux du Coeur brings together a host company and a partner association. 

The companies must provide a dedicated and clean sleeping area, a kitchen area, washing facilities and a locked cupboard. 

People using the scheme are known as guests. They have their own access to the building and arrive when workers leave. 

In some locations, a local restaurant provides a meal. 

Read more: American donates flat to French town to help people in trouble

Mr Diarra had spent two years living on the street

In the morning, they can chat for a moment with arriving employees, before taking part in activities, such as language courses or professional reintegration, arranged by the partner association.

The latter also monitors the guest and intervenes if there are problems.

Guests do not pay for the service and must respect the location’s working hours. 

They cannot bring animals or friends into the areas or drink alcohol on site. 

They can use the service for three months and, if required, can renew their deal. 

“I’m delighted to be able to contribute to getting as many people as possible out of poverty,” Ms Garman said. 

Souleymane Diarra spent two years living on the streets. 

After spending four months with a host business, he was able to move into his own apartment and was reunited with his daughter. 

Related articles

Housing found for homeless man who saved Lyon shopkeeper from fire

Restaurant in France sets prices depending on what diners can afford

We found our extended family volunteering in France, says UK-US couple

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France