I chose an internship with Street Nurses to better understand the problems of homelessness, and everything related to it. I discovered political, social, financial, and structural problems. Above all, I wanted to understand the stories of homeless people - understand how they got into their condition, and at the same time decipher the system we live in.

I quickly realized that this system works well for a majority of active or inactive people. But for homeless people, it is actually a maze that you must navigate to perform simple administrative procedures.

For example, to replace a lost or stolen identity card, you must first go to the PCSW to get an address, then take photos and then return to the municipality for the rest of the procedure. The homeless person must therefore go to three different addresses.

Integrated into society, we can do that in one day, but for homeless people it can take weeks for several reasons:

- They sleep little on the street, they are constantly extremely vigilant and therefore find it difficult to report somewhere early or at some point.

- They have to find something to eat and go to a certain place for a shower to be presentable.

- Sometimes there are problems with alcohol, or the lack of it, and then they have to find the necessary to avoid feeling unwell. Their only means of transport are their feet, which are also in bad shape, even if they do not always cause pain or discomfort.

All these points actually concern primary needs that take a long time throughout the day. Administrative tasks are therefore often put aside because they are time consuming and exhausting - and if you already have no energy, it becomes impossible to perform them.

The image I had of homeless people was of precarious people with a difficult life, weak people or people who had just chosen to live on the street. As my internship progressed, I had to revise my opinions. Through my practical experience, I realized that even when homeless people say they chose street life, it is not entirely correct. There is no intimacy on the street, the street breaks people, who are the no longer themselves, no longer have a real identity and become constantly stigmatized.

Street life, the incomprehension of the people around, the lack of resources, all this makes people rationalize their situation as being their own choice, as if it were something they could control.


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Anyone, regardless of their background, can end up on the street one day. It can happen to anyone.

In addition, I realize that many places in the city are becoming increasingly inaccessible to homeless people: parking lots, banks, parks, etc. This does not solve the basic problem. Moreover, it becomes complicated to locate people who used to take refuge in these places.

I often ask myself two questions: what can we do, each according to ability, to prevent people from being marginalized? And when should people, or their entourage, get help to avoid this situation: in their childhood, their youth, their adolescence, later? And in what way?

In the near future, I hope for stronger mobilization of the public and public authorities to contribute to prevention, to make more homes available, as well as cheaper mental health care for everyone.

Thanks to this internship, I could work on the basis of stronger human values, I was able to meet a listening team, super caring, with a lot of knowledge and skills. This changed my commitment as a nursing student and meant a lot to me personally and professionally.

Once I have graduated, I hope to be able to offer that same listening capacity, because it is a care treatment in itself.

Would you like to be part of the change ?


(*) We do our utmost to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. However, we want to testify to how they must survive and how we are working together to reintegrate them. As a result, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in a different context. There is no direct link between the photos and the stories above.