« Le quartier des États-Unis compte 30% d'habitants âgés et à faibles revenus. Ce projet est donc essentiel pour leur permettre de découvrir ou de continuer à fréquenter les lieux culturels, d'animation ou de rencontres. Il est de plus porté par des responsables au sérieux et à l'investissement reconnus, qui démontrent une grande expérience de l'action associative. »
Providing an accompanied transport service to enable the elderly to remain or become mobile in the heart of the city is not just a way to improve their lives.
For the oldest and the most needy, this city transportation service enables them to maintain or re-establish social contacts in an urban environment which is often perceived as hostile. It thus enables them to continue to live independently in their own homes for longer.
In the working class district of Etats-Unis, in the 8th arrondissement of Lyon, a survey of 400 elderly people and residents of hostels for former migrant workers highlighted these needs, and led the "Eureaqua" association to add another string to its bow.
A public utility remit
The "Eurequa" local association already runs a collective market garden and call-in centre for the elderly in need, dubbed "Pause Amitié". "Eurequa" runs a dressmaking workshop employing thirty women and also employs fifty or so staff on "social integration" contracts doing gardening work or cleaning and maintenance work on apartment blocks. With a minibus which can transport nine passengers, of whom two or three in wheelchairs, the Mobiseniors service now being launched will go beyond its community role to take on a driver-facilitator as part of an arrangement funded by the Rhône-Alpes regional authority while the contract of the "Pause Amitié" manager, who is responsible for the project, will be upgraded to a full-time position.
By financing the purchase of the vehicle, the funding from the Veolia foundation in parallel with that from Carrefour and Apicil, will enable this initiative to be given concrete form and the beneficiaries to get out and about in their local environment for that much longer.