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National partner profile: France

Participants

Homeless men and women living in supported accommodation or in hostels

Locations

Avignon, Lille, Marseille, Montauban, Paris, Poitiers, Rodez, Vesoul, and Montpellier

Le Collectif La Boussole

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Le Collectif La Boussole is the Homeless World Cup Partner in France. As a collective of a number of associations and other organisations, they organise sports events as well as cultural programmes for disadvantaged people.

Originally organised by the Parisian collective “Remise en jeu,” Team France have been participating in the Homeless World Cup since 2004. Since 2011, Collectif La Boussoule, based in and around Montpellier, have taken on the organisation of the annual national tournament “Tournoi national de la solidarité” (National Solidarity Tournament). They are also in charge of the selection, training, and preparation of the French Team prior to the Homeless World Cup.

Team France has been supported by former French Minister of Sport, Ms Valérie Fourneyron.

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Mission statement

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The mission of Le Collectif La Boussole is to connect organisations that work to fight homelessness in order to release their full potential. The ultimate aim is to improve the range of services offered to clients by establishing sports, cultural, and other socially engaging activities.

“The most important thing about Homeless World Cup is the opportunity for our players to translate their experience on the pitch into their lives and the problems they face back home.”

Goals for the future

Social Inclusion

To use football as a tool for reintegration and to improve the public image of homeless people in France by participating in international sporting events

Education

To help the players rebuild self-confidence, skills, and competencies

Women's Programmes

To promote and develop the women’s football programme

Additional information

Partner since

2004

Football Activities

Weekly football sessions, coaching training programmes, the National Solidarity Tournament, and selection and training of the French homeless team

Team selection

Teams from all over France come together to play at the National Solidarity Tournament. Around 30 players are pre-selected according to their performance. These players then train according to the Homeless World Cup four-a-side rules, and the best 15 are selected. The final squad of eight players is then selected based on personal attitude and commitment.

Non-football services

Referral to education, housing, and employment, and networking for organisations working with homeless people

Participants challenges

Homelessness, marginalisation, and a lack of access to resources and education

Country challenges

Homelessness is rising especially among immigrants – there are around 90,000 new immigrants in France every year, mostly from Eastern European countries (The Local, 2014). One of the largest and most isolated homeless immigrant groups are the Roma, who often sleep rough, speak no French, and are subject to police violence (Mediaparts, 2013).

Homlessness definition

A homeless person is one who does not have a place to live and is entitled to assistance from the state. This includes rough sleepers, those living in squats, and all others in precarious housing conditions who use emergency accommodation, hostels, and similar institutions (Les Sans Abri, 2007).

Homelessness Statistics

In 2012, around 103,000 adults in French cities used some form of emergency accommodation or soup kitchen. This number includes 30,000 children. Altogether, 141,500 people were homeless in France in 2012, which is almost a 50% increase from 2001 (INSEE, 2012).

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