Interior decoration to rebuild character

To help adults suffering from psychic problems to reintegrate professionally, ARI (Association des Rénovations Intérieures) offers them small maintenance and renovation jobs among handicapped adults.This project solves two problems flexibly.

Social and Employment

Paris, 13th district, France

Isabelle Duchamp

10 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/06/16

Project leader

Association des Rénovations Intérieures (ARI)

"I find this project to be highly relevant because it has a dual impact: both on the refurbishers and on the clients.It is original because it includes therapy in real life and becomes a project of public interest.Like any startup association, it must be able to count on permanent financial partners enabling it to develop.This can be done by training new staff, who can join their efforts and raise new funds."

Isabelle Duchamp

How to transform the difficulties encountered by two types of populations into an interesting opportunity for each?ARI (Association des Rénovations Intérieures) is trying out one answer to this question.

On the one hand, there's the question of offering suitable conditions to enable persons suffering from psychic problems to set up a professional project, and thereby achieve a degree of self-sufficiency. On the other hand, there's the problem of the maintenance and refurbishing of the apartments accommodating psychically handicapped adults incapable of handling these indispensable operations due to the lack of sufficient financial resources - or too severely handicapped to do them.ARI enlists the former, called the "refurbishers" to carry out these small refurbishing projects among the latter, the "clients".

Ten subsidized employees signed up for the refurbishers

Small repair, storage and cleaning jobs are thus carried out by teams of two to three persons, under the responsibility of a psychologist who is a former building craftsman, at the home of the clients.During these operations, ARI, which works with the psychiatry and professional integration services adapted to psychically handicapped persons, can assess the professional skill of the refurbishers by taking account of their real capacities - often under heavy medication.These persons may find some difficulty in concentrating and remembering the instructions.

Recruited under subsidized contracts, the refurbishers are paid by the associative employment check system, based on the hourly minimum wage.Alongside their professional engagement, they are monitored by the care teams of the mental health association of the XIIIth district of Paris.When their contract ends, it is then easier to send them out to other activities.

As for the clients, whose income is often very limited, they find an answer to improve their living framework, despite the difficulties they encounter.The social landlords who accommodate them are making no mistake: they all support the experiment developed by ARI.The aid granted by the Veolia Foundation for this initiative will help acquire a small utility vehicle to transport the refurbishers to their different worksites.

If, after several months of operation, a drop in relapses and hospital readmissions is observed, plus the desire to resume professional activity by the refurbishers and better occupation of the housing, as well as an acceptance of home aid by the clients, ARI will have handily achieved this objective!From the inception of this activity, ten first refurbisher contracts were signed.