The population census, conducted each year in January and February, will also concern homeless people in 2022. For the first time, INSEE will cooperate with the agents and volunteers mobilized by 27 municipalities, including those of Lyon and Saint-Etienne to count the homeless on the night of Thursday to Friday.
The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), responsible for the census on behalf of the State, has just announced that it will “mutualize” its efforts with the 27 cities mobilized in this operation.
The objective is to “obtain a reliable count of homeless people” and of “collect information on their socio-demographic characteristics“, we said from the same source.
The population census is organized according to different methods depending on the size of the municipalities: in all towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants. The operation takes place every year but on a sample of 8% of households – the homeless being concerned only every five years. The small municipalities, for their part, are designated in rotation every five years, but “in full”.
A finer knowledge of the population enables local authorities to “make appropriate decisions” and provides “reference figures for the application of laws and regulations“, argues INSEE.
The operation takes place this year from January 20 to February 26, or until March 12 in Reunion and Mayotte. But for people who are homeless – or living in caravans, trailers, or mobile homes – the count must be limited to two days, Thursday and Friday, to prevent them from being counted several times because of their mobility.
Inspired by existing initiatives in New York, Brussels or Athens, the “solidarity night” was introduced in France in 2018 by the City of Paris. Hundreds of volunteers and social workers crisscross the city to count people on the street and “Better know” their needs, “in order to best adapt the emergency and social systems», Explains the municipality of the capital.
The operation will take place this year in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Rennes, Montpellier, Metz, Mulhouse, Dijon, Tours, Rouen, Arras, Brest, Dunkirk, Lorient, Quimper and Saint-Étienne, as well as in Paris and in a dozen suburban towns, said the National Union of Communal Centers for Social Action (UNCCAS).
The “night of solidarity” should make it possible to “measure the impact of the health crisis on vulnerable populations“, underlined UNCCAS, for whom”one can only meet a need by having a detailed knowledge“.