Familles Solidaires was created five years ago by a group of family caregivers of disabled people. The goal: to support and encourage the development of shared and assisted accommodation projects.
What if there were another way? That was the question behind the slightly crazy gamble taken in 2012 by eight family members and friends of people made vulnerable by age, illness or disability. Faced with a lack of appropriate daily support solutions for their loved ones, they decided to invest some of their savings – €180,000 – to set up a mutual investment fund. The objective was to create suitable accommodation and provide assistance with significant social added value.
A new type of solidarity
“The idea was to spare others from having to deal with the same difficulties as us”, explains Jean Ruch, Co-Director of Familles Solidaires. Ruch and his partner Bernadette Paul-Cornu, who has a medical-social background, are pushing back the boundaries in terms of accommodation. By adapting apartments to include home automation, facilitating the creation of social relationships, and providing low-rent options, they are offering innovative accommodation solutions for the vulnerable.
Ambitions on a national scale
Created to meet a specific need in the Alsace region of France, Familles Solidaires now has its sights set on a country-wide rollout. In December 2017, France Active invested €50,000 in the association to finance this change of scale. “We require a lot of financing as some of our projects cost more than €3 million. Having a prestigious partner like France Active amongst our shareholders enables us to fine-tune our strategy and build projects together”, says Bernadette Paul-Cornu. The association is now looking to promote its way of working to meet the needs of vulnerable people, their caregivers, managed associations, and local authorities.
All ideas welcome
In order to unearth more unusual projects, Familles Solidaires is launching an ambitious call for projects in partnership with AG2R LA MONDIALE. “From 1 June to 14 July, family caregivers can tell us what they want and share their ideas for accommodation development via a dedicated website. Familles Solidaires has pledged to support and provide training and advice for 10 projects, and to finance three,” explains Jean Ruch.
“AG2R is a partner that shares our convictions, and will help promote our initiative across the country, in particular amongst the caregivers it works with all year round. It will also help raise public awareness of the challenges caregivers face,” adds Bernadette Paul-Cornu. With the support of France Active and through this call for projects, Familles Solidaires intends to continue making a difference with its very inclusive accommodation solutions.
Were supported by
France Active Alsace
With the support of