J’I’m ashamed, I don’t know what to do. I am cracking up. » Never Sonia(1) A. would have thought one day to be in this situation. “A few years ago, I hosted a student colleague who had no accommodation. Now it’s my turn”she notes, disillusioned with this wheel that has gone wrong.
At 22, the young woman has now spent the carefree time usually associated with higher education. A student in Master 1 Justice, Trials, Procedures at the Dracénoise law branch of the University of Toulon, Sonia is homeless this academic year, forced to sleep in her car at night.
“I did my law degree in Draguignan, I left my student accommodation at the end of April to save rent and I stored my things while waiting in a garage for the next school year”she says. “I had applied to many masters, and all summer I suffered refusals one after the other.”
A weekend to do all the steps
A hope remains. She is on the waiting list for the master’s degree in Draguignan. “The start of the school year is taking place and I have no news”says the young woman who grew up in Menton in the Alpes-Maritimes. “After writing to the head of the master’s program and with the help of a friend, I was finally accepted a week after the start of the school year.”
Good news that falls on Friday September 9 for Monday September 12: “In two days, I had to catch up on 30 hours of lessons, apply for housing and scholarships.e”, enumerates Sonia. Impossible thing especially on a weekend.
“At first, I slept at my girlfriends, one night here and another there”she continues. “But I’m uncomfortable, one of them lives alone with her baby, the other takes care of her grandmother…”
Sonia feels too much and hopes to have a solution in the days that follow. “I contact the student house, and also the Saiem, of the student residence, in which I lived during my license”she says with dignity despite the tears that come to her eyes.
The solution: sleep in a parking lot
“They have a priori a vacant accommodation, but they told me that they were waiting for the parts of two other students in the running and that I am not in an urgent situation.”
Out of shame, the young woman is silent and decides to sleep in her car. An old city car from the 2000s with very many miles. She then sleeps in a parking lot in Lorgues. “I couldn’t feel safe so I slept in the driver’s seat waking up every minute scared and freezing”she says. “I even saw wild boars passing by”.
To have a minimum of serenity, she puts towels on the windows.
The following days, Sonia still sees no solution to her problem. “I then slept near Draguignan, but I was annoyed by an alcoholic homeless man who tapped on the window”she recalls.
More recently, she found a slightly quieter corner near Les Arcs, crossing her fingers that a solution could be found. Despite her jovial and courteous appearance, Sonia is on the verge of collapse…
1. The first name has been changed.