First days - Emergency Aid - Welcome Centers and emergency housing

  • Updated: 08/04/2022

In France, you normally should not pay for emergency housing, food, clothes, etc.

The French government has set up reception centers and emergency accommodation for one or two nights (sport centers, hotels, etc.) near the main points of arrival in France. These emergency solutions are available including for people in transit. The aim is to give you food, clothing, access to hygiene and medical care and then to direct you to other transitional accommodation structures.

You have access to hospitals for free if you need emergency healthcare treatments.

The first days will be difficult for housing in France until you are registered with PREFECTURE. It is particularly true if you want to stay in the biggest cities due to lack of housing in Paris, Nice, Lyon, etc (even for french people).

A good strategy

  1. We recommend you go first through cities with official Ukranian Welcome Centers.
  2. You can have a meal, get clothes and spent time there for information. Expect long waiting lines.
  3. Expect to sleep a night or two in Paris. You may have to live in a sport center or convention center.
  4. Choose a destination in France and go there to live and register with PREFECTURE. Medium and smaller cities are less in demand than Paris, Nice/Cannes and Lyon.
  5. Do not wait until you find a job or long term housing

The non-exhaustive list of associations supporting ukranians in France:

List of associations supporting ukrainians in France

Help in Paris

You will find volunteers in the main four train stations in Paris : Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon, Gare de l'Est, Gare du Nord

They wear orange vest. They have a RED CROSS flag.

  • Gare Montparnasse :
    • Reception located opposite tracks 1 to 3.
    • Reception located in the waiting room located at Hall 2 level.
  • Gare de Lyon: Reception located in Hall 3, opposite to McDonalds.
  • Gare du Nord: Reception located opposite tracks 9 and 10
  • Gare de l'Est: Reception located in the “La Consigne” bistro, entrance forecourt of the station, Alsace side

Official welcome sheet published by the City of Paris and the French Red Cross



1, Place de Lattre de Tassigny


Google Maps

If there are no volunteers or welcome center in the city

  • Ask ukranian or russian speaking regional organizations before travelling there
  • Sometimes welcome centers are organized at airport or main TGV train stations.
  • Train stations and Mairie will usually know who is in charge locally of welcoming ukrainian refugees
  • Otherwise, contact an organisation on the approved list for refugees services . These organizations are managing shelters (in addition to the specific centers created for ukranian refugees)
  • Don't stay homeless : ask a French citizen to call 115 for shelter for you.
  • en/firstdays.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/04/08 15:07
  • by dheurtevent