“Un toit vers l’emploi”: facilitating the social reintegration of homeless people
The French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde helps homeless people find work by supporting them and providing them with “Tiny houses”.
Launched in Rouen in 2019 by the French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde and supported by the Rexel Foundation, “Un toit vers l’emploi” began with the observation that the precarious living conditions of people who are about to lose or have already lost their homes made their social and occupational reintegration more difficult to achieve.
To help them bounce back, the association designed a mobile wooden housing solution coupled with a job-seeking support scheme. Thanks to their mobility, these “Tiny houses” will allow beneficiaries to take advantage of more internship, training, and job opportunities than before.
The project consists of three components that will be rolled out over three years.
A reception center
The project’s first component consists in opening a reception center for homeless people in the city center of Rouen in spring 2020 run by a team of three to four professionals and many volunteers. This center, which provides shelter from the cold and the opportunity to meet people, also provides social advice and interaction with the numerous local public and private stakeholders. This helps lift many barriers to social reintegration and ensures long-term support.
At the center, beneficiaries can also take part in DIY (Do It Yourself) activities organized and run by the volunteers. Many thematic workshops are offered on home improvement: woodworking and ironworking workshops, an interior decoration workshop, and a small domestic appliance repair workshop, all using salvaged materials.
A subsidized employment company
The project’s second component involves the creation of a subsidized employment company to produce the “Tiny houses” in 2021, which will help reduce their environmental footprint and building costs. At full capacity, this company will build about 30 houses per year, and will also employ two or three beneficiaries.
The creation of a rental management entity
The project’s aim is to partially base its viability on the rent collected on its “Tiny houses” and the sales of the houses built by its social enterprise to other types of clients.
Through this initiative, the NGO also aims to create a new synergy between the different local stakeholders (businesses, local authorities, associations, citizens, etc.), to better support homeless people. In March 2020, “Un toit vers l’emploi” organized “Solidarity Night,” an event during which 300 volunteers met with homeless people living in the city of Rouen to better understand their situation and help the different actors provide a more appropriate response.
Find out more about « Entrepreneurs du Monde »
Founded in 1998, Entrepreneurs du Monde is a French NGO recognized as a public interest organization. It works towards creating a fair and sustainable world in which all people have access to basic services, can start a business, and can increase their personal, family, and community well-being.
The NGO’s mission is to support the economic inclusion of poor families and to facilitate their access to essential goods and services. These families can thereby increase their autonomy and improve their living conditions.
To achieve its mission, Entrepreneurs du Monde promotes the emergence of successful and sustainable local organizations around the world in three occupational fields: social microfinance, support for very small business creation, and energy access.