At the dawn of the 21st century, the Abbé Pierre starts his lobbying again.
In 1998, the income of one French household in ten is below the poverty line, six million people depend on social welfare, out of which at least 200 000 are homeless. The fate of the badly housed being more and more precarious, the government decides to vote a law to fight exclusion, in the hope of stopping the insidious marginalisation process. The housing aspect of the law, focused on the means for preventing exclusion situations, was largely inspired by the actions of the Abbé Pierre.
In it we find the first concerns put forward since the inception of the Foundation: avoid loss of housing at all costs, get rid of debt burden, allow the most impoverished to maintain decent living, avoid violations of human dignity. The law should improve the subsistence means of the most impoverished.
In the field of health, the CMU (state health cover for people on low incomes) will bring solutions to those facing financial obstacles to health care. The State also acknowledges that alone, it is powerless, that it is those in close contact with persons in situations of destitution and distress, who can, in a concrete manner, curb exclusion. Giving each and every one, wherever they are the power to answer and the means to intervene against exclusion is a solidarity stake, a civic stake. As stipulated in the first article of the law: “the fight against exclusion is a national imperative based on the equal dignity of all human beings and a priority for all public policies of the Nation”.
“The 21st century will either be brotherly or will not be. It’s up to each one of us, regardless of belief or thought, to make sure this certitude comes to life.”