The solidarity biscuit factory driving social integration

With its project for homeless people to make and distribute biscuits, La Cloche aims to re-establish social ties and extend the Carillon project - an already well-established urban solidarity program. The association is keen for its social reintegration project to be located in the heart of the city with the backing of retail businesses and local residents.

"I think the Carillon project is part of an extremely positive drive to include people living on the streets. Letting people in difficulty know they will be welcomed and treated with dignity in their neighbourhood businesses is a message of openness and hope. In addition to the project’s undeniable social value, it seems to me that the association helps to recreate links in the city and allows neighbourhood residents to re-establish the lines of communication that have all too often been lost in large cities like Paris."


Since it was set up in 2014, La Cloche has focused on setting up projects to rehabilitate the image of the most disadvantaged people. The association launched the Carillon project for homeless people in Paris. In 10 of the capital’s districts, 250 retail businesses have undertaken to offer various types of services to homeless people in their neighbourhoods. Recharging telephones, sending mail, accessing toilet facilities, donating unsold goods, etc. The goal is to provide basic services to homeless people in the neighbourhood and so help their reintegration.
 
In 2017, La Cloche decided to extend its Carillon project by starting an integration project offering homeless people a work opportunity. The idea is to set up and run a social biscuit factory. In practical terms the biscuits will be made and distributed by the people on work schemes, thus enabling them to acquire key competences in terms of know-how and social skills: teamwork under strictly regulated sanitary conditions, managing the logistics associated with production, and running the distribution network, etc. The association will be able to rely on the Carillon project network of retail businesses, which will be offered the opportunity to become points of sale for the biscuits. La Cloche has also envisaged that the coffee solidarity principle (a customer who buys a coffee pays a supplement so that a homeless person can have one free of charge when they go to the café) could be repeated for biscuit sales.
 
Supported by the Veolia Foundation and many other partners, the project involves setting up production processes and acquiring industrial machinery. The team must also be expanded with a professional employment advisor and a technical supervisor. Lastly, tools and training materials for employees and social support are envisaged.
 
The program is ambitious but La Cloche is not starting from scratch: the success of the Carillon project is the foundation for the social biscuit factory.