The humans offering safe havens

 Image by Laura Dodsworth for Scottish Women’s Aid and Zero Tolerance

Around the world, in hundreds of languages, a similar message: stay home, stay safe, save lives.

But how, for people who have no home or for whom locked-down home is a perilous place?

Individuals, businesses, governments are responding in compassionate —  necessary — ways.


The French government is paying for up to 20,000 hotel nights for victims to escape abusive partners, reports France 24 and Thomson Reuters.

Read the articles:

France has also opened pop-up counselling centres in shopping centres, and encourages women to report abuse in pharmacies, and has an extra €1 million for anti-domestic abuse organisations to help them respond to the increased demand.


Picture by: Tomas Castelazo / CC BY-SA

In New South Wales, Renee McKeown writes that hotels are registering with an industry partnership between homeless and domestic-abuse support organisations to provide temporary accommodation for people escaping domestic violence.

People who are front-line health workers, are in self-isolation, or who are rough sleepers are also offered accommodation in otherwise empty hotel-beds.

In Queensland, Australia, a university student accommodation provider, Scape Australia, has met a request by the state government to give over student apartments to crisis housing, reports ABC News. Not only are empty rooms being used, but students have willingly moved out to make way. 


In Spain, a hotel owner has offered his temporarily-closed holiday complex to 65 people who are refugees from Venezuela or are homeless.  Sergio Perez and Raul Cadenas report on the decision by Miguel Angel Carnero at La Ciguena, near Madrid.  The staff there who are laid off are coming in to help voluntarily.

Over to you:  Tell us your stories of remarkable humans offering safe-havens during the pandemic.  How does it affect your thinking about society’s shelter for vulnerable people when quarantine measures start to ease?