The annual film festival in the palm-fringed French Riviera resort had been due to take place from May 12-23 but last week organisers postponed the event until late June as the novel coronavirus continues to spread globally. However, in good news, the festival hall opened its doors to the destitute on Friday.
“We have between 50 and 70 people here every night,” said Dominique Aude-Lasset, an official at Cannes Town Hall.
Eight days ago, President Emmanuel Macron told the country’s 67 million people to stay confined to their home to protect themselves from the pandemic, and to slow its spread. That’s a big problem for the country’s estimated 12,000 homeless who live on the streets.
At the entrance, a worker in a face mask takes the temperature of each homeless person each time they enter the site. Inside, there is an eating area, shower block and communal space with television and games. In a cavernous, low-ceiling room, camp-beds are set up in three long lines.
There are also four kennels to house dogs. “We know dogs are precious for people living on the streets,” Aude-Lasset said.