The problem of "severe poverty" is more socio-economic than psychiatric. Approximately three to four million people living in France receive a monthly minimum income allowance from the state. An ethno-psychiatric approach offers the possibility of situating homeless people within the context of their everyday living conditions and habits. If the scope of the problem goes beyond the realm of the psychiatric's intervention, he is nonetheless still involved, and we believe that this involvement is important. Setting up centers for homeless people run by multi-disciplinary teams would help to resolve concrete problems facing this population. In the end, however, it is not a question of managing the urgency of the situation, but of establishing a social policy for all citizens.