Laval provides land for youth social housing project

By Tracey Arial

The City of Laval gave the l’Envolée non-profit community an early 30th birthday gift earlier this month.

The executive committee voted to provide the organization with a 100-year no-charge life-lease on a 6,762 square-metre lot between their current building next to the Whyte plant on rue des Patriotes and l’Allier on March 3.

“I’m very happy,” said Virginie Dufour, the city councillor for Ste. Rose and a member of the executive committee. “This is a file I’ve been pushing for. After I was elected, I organized a visit of the mayor to the facility.”

L’Envolée already had a life-lease on their current 2,229.90 square-metre lot, so the new agreement was added to the old one. The new land will enable l’Envolée to build 30 low-cost apartments right next to their current building. Most will be designed to house individual youth aged 18 to 25 years, but six will have space for single-parent families. Fundraising for that project is now fully underway.

“It’s a great project,” said Dufour. “The location is right next to the Whyte Industry — they make noise and smell sometimes, so it’s the perfect project to be there. Anything else would be bothered by the Whyte industry.”

L’Envolée has been assisting homeless and troubled youth aged 16-20 with counselling, support and activities designed to help them return to their families, go back to school or create an independent life, depending on their age and circumstances since 1985. They operate out of a two-storey circa-2011 building that has 16 rooms that serve as emergency housing for these youth when required.

All the rooms share the same public space and kitchen, so after their clients turn 18, they have to find their own apartments, which are often too far away to make an easy transition possible.

The new space will solve that problem, just in time for l’Envolée’s birthday celebration at the end of this month.

(Left to right) Raymond Bernier, l’Auberge du cœur L’envolée director; Mélanie Roger, l’Auberge du cœur L’envolée communication agent; Laval Mayor Marc Demers; Elena Sauvageau, l’Auberge du cœur L’envolée executive director; and Virginie Dufour, Sainte-Rose councillor and member of Laval’s executive committee.

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