Postcard from... Brussels


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The Independent Online


Just because you don’t have a roof over your head, that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to a bit of privacy; that’s the thinking of the Corvia charity in Brussels, which has announced plans for a “love hotel” to serve the city’s homeless population.

Worried that people living on the streets of the Belgian capital have no safe place to express their passion, the charity will open a room that couples can book in advance free of charge, the Flanders News website reported this week.

It is the latest innovation for the charity, which has also distributed stylish backpacks to meet all a homeless person’s needs, complete with a corkscrew and a poncho.

Their most controversial initiative was a beauty contest for the homeless, which caused a stir in 2009 with an offer of a year’s accommodation for the winning woman. Feminists were outraged, but organisers said it raised awareness of the issues homeless women faced.

Mathilde Pelsers, left, president of Corvia, told local media that the idea for the love hotel came from the winner of that very contest, who told her that making love in public places was both embarrassing and dangerous.

Ms Pelsers said people would also be able to shower and get access to nurses and other social services at the love hotel, a concept she also hopes eventually to export to the Netherlands.