A stopover before returning to the street

By Audrey SomnardMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

Médecins du Monde has joined forces with the Émile Mayrisch Hospital (CHEM) to offer a post-surgery rest period to people in very precarious situations. This is l'Escale. A first in this form in Luxembourg.

It is a house like any other in a street in the centre of Esch-sur-Alzette, not far from the CHEM. It used to be the home of a former CHEM doctor and is rented to the association by his heirs. Once the front door is opened, it's a hive of activity because the offices are on the ground floor: the telephone rings, coordination meetings are held for the medical team and the social worker. It’s quite busy, in contrast to the calm of the upper floors. The team is made up of four CHEM nurses who follow the patients daily, a doctor from Médecins du Mondes (MDM) who consults twice a week, medical coordination by Dr Guillaume Bastin from MDM, a CHEM social worker and a psychologist who comes every Friday. In addition, a security guard is present from 5pm until 7am to ensure security during the night.

The residents are all there because they have just been discharged from hospital and must undergo rehabilitation, they suffer from a chronic pathology or need care that does not require stay at the hospital. These people often have no social rights and are mostly homeless. L'Escale is in this well-to-do house, which is full of stairs. On each floor, the residents' rooms are arranged, each with its own personal space. This is a good way to find calm and privacy for people who are sorely lacking in the street. During our morning visit, the common areas are quiet. The living room is cosy with comfortable sofas, and the shelves are filled with books, a television is also present, like the real living room of a private house. From the bay window you can see the well-kept garden that some of the residents like to tidy up, while a man smokes a cigarette silently on the terrace.

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