July 2021 will go down in history as the moment when many Belgians became climate refugees in their own country. These terrible floods left thousands of households homeless. A significant proportion of these were uninsured and literally lost everything. Even for those who are covered by insurance, it will take many months or even years to recover some of what they have lost.
Whatever the natural or political causes of these disasters, thousands of our compatriots are now homeless. During the first days, their situation makes the headlines, solidarity is organized, sometimes visible, often discreet. But in a month, in six months, the cameras will turn away, the spontaneous solidarity will fade away... while for many of the victims, the situation will still not be restored.
At Street Nurses we know that when precariousness sets in, it becomes very difficult to get out. For many of our patients, the "fall" into the street is linked to one or more accidents in their lives from which they were unable to recover immediately. Once misery has set in, it takes hold. It is therefore necessary to quickly help all these victims to find a new home, otherwise this temporary situation could become permanent for some of them.
In his book “Who killed my father”, the French writer Edouard Louis recounts how a series of political decisions gradually deprived his father of necessary care following a serious work accident, ultimately leading to his death: "Among those who have everything, I have never seen a family go to the sea to celebrate a political decision, because for them politics changes almost nothing. (...) For the dominant ones, politics is usually an aesthetic question: a way of thinking, a way of seeing the world, of building one's person. For us, it was live or die."
Faced with this terrible "blow of fate," the July victims have a vital need for collective action, now. Otherwise, they will join the ranks of the excluded, those who are outside.