Sleeping with nothing - Paris, France

Guest blog from Paris Refugee Ground Support

Recently we saw another small family sleeping with nothing in a small doorway on a busy street. The father with a young teenage son and daughter were sharing a thin curtain as a blanket. The father was sat sleeping with his head on his knees and his children were huddled close to him. I took some blankets and went to them.

I put the blankets down gently but the father's eyes snapped open instantly.

He looked scared and put an arm over his children in protection. I pointed to the blanket and gave him a weak smile to show I meant no harm. He said no as he didn't want his children to wake.

I unfolded the blanket and asked him please, looking at the children. He nodded slightly and moved his arm. I lay the blanket over them as gently as I could.

It felt like there was a strong hand squeezing my heart. I thought of my own son, soon to be 8, safe, warm.

I tried to put myself in this father's shoes but it's impossible, how could I even begin to think I know how he feels.

Fighting back tears I unfolded the other blanket and lay it over him.

He looked at me with exausted eyes and gave me a small nod of thanks before letting his head drop once more.

I can deal with seeing single men, I've done it so long it has become the norm for me but seeing families left to survive in this unforgiving and rich city completely breaks my heart.

To protect the families identity we have used a (current) stock photo.