A solidarity cooperative for autistic children could be born in Sherbrooke

The place would be called l’Envolée. The parents who form the provisional board of directors of the cooperative wish more specifically to create 16 apartments adapted to the particular needs of autonomous people who live with a ASD.

Autistic children, when they become adults, have very high sensory needs. They have a hypersensitivity to noises, smells, light. So it is certain that the construction of this building will take into account all these characteristics, underlines the president of the provisional board of directors, Johanne Morin. When we create an environment that reduces all this sensory disturbance, it increases the energy they have to devote themselves to meaningful and enriching activities for them, such as getting involved in a workplace.

They have less energy to always adapt to an environment that attacks them a lot. »

A quote from Johanne Morin, president of the board of directors of the future cooperative

These parents are currently looking for land to build this cooperative. They appeal to the community to find a quiet place, close to a network of public transport and services, allowing people with autism to go about their business.

For the implementation of the project, the group is accompanied by the Technical Resources Group, which helps in the search for funding. L’Envolée also wishes to collaborate with the Fédération des cooperatives de l’Estrie, to obtain assistance in the financial, real estate and community management of the cooperative.

Residents will become owners collectively. […] It will be a great opportunity for them to develop their sense of responsibility, mutual aid and community life. »

A quote from Johanne Morin, president of the board of directors of the future cooperative

It is aimed at adults with ASDwho have a level of autonomy to live in an apartment, but with occasional supportadds the president.

A respite for parents

Johanne Morin herself has a 30-year-old son who is dealing with autism, and who is struggling to find a stable and adequate living environment.

He lived with me until he was 25. Then he went to foster care, then shared accommodation and a room. Imagine, he needs stability and he’s been trying different places since he no longer lives with me. It really takes their own apartment, so that they have peace of mind.

They are able to socialize, but they really need their own time, often during the day, to make peace. »

A quote from Johanne Morin, president of the board of directors of the future cooperative

Many parents keep their autistic child with them, even into adulthood, because they don’t feel safe enough to send them away to live alone.

The great concern of parents who have different children is to know what will become of them once we are no longer able to support them. It’s very disturbing, even scarysays Ms. Morin.

The latter believes that the cooperative will provide parents with the feeling of security they are looking for, and which has led them to get involved in the group.

They will be owners. […] We will be assured that there will be a board of directors. Any decision that will be taken will have to be voted on by the general assembly.

The group of parents and sympathizers has a dynamism, an enthusiasm. We believe in. »

A quote from Johanne Morin, president of the board of directors of the future cooperative

The project was submitted to the Société d’habitation du Québec on Thursday. The organization has one month to decide on the solidarity cooperative. If he agrees, part of the financing of the place will be assured.

There’s gonna be another part [du financement] which must come from the middle. So we made a request to the City of Sherbrooke. I also take this opportunity to call donors, foundations or organizations that want to help us. It is certain that we will have to collect a certain amount from the communitysaid the president.

It was in November 2020 that the project was born, when it was presented to the organization Autisme Estrie, which quickly got involved in the development of the cooperative.

They are very well placed to know the needs in Estrie. The executive director told me that it was a fabulous project that the organization wanted to embark on with us. […] Within a week, 10 parents had contacted me and were ready to get involved.

The board of directors hopes that the solidarity cooperative l’Envolée will see the light of day at the beginning of 2024, and perhaps even before, if the financing is there quickly.


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