A house for the excluded in need of renovation

The Association Notre-Dame des Barrails works to reintegrate the most disadvantaged people. It already accommodates people in a house in Bordeaux. And it wants to do so in a second house, which has been donated to it, in Preignac in the south of the Gironde. It has asked the Veolia Foundation for help to renovate it.

Humanitarian & development

  • Location:

    Preignac (France)

  • Sponsor:

    Vincent Duchateau

  • Grant:
    €10,000 at the selection committee meeting on 21 October 2019

Project leader

Association Notre-Dame des Barrails

"The objective of the Association Notre-Dame des Barrails, 'Taking care of the most vulnerable among the most destitute', convinced me. In it I found a real concern for others. I was also struck by the way the Association operates, entirely based on voluntary work, which is, in my opinion, the mark of a sincere and genuine commitment.”
Vincent Duchateau

The Association Notre-Dame des Barrails is among those actors involved in reintegrating people in great difficulty. It helps the most vulnerable among the most destitute by addressing people who do not have access to traditional structures: those who do not benefit from income support, suffer from an addiction, need special long-term support, etc. It also helps undocumented foreign families who are living in very precarious conditions on the street with their young children.


Tailored support

The principle of the Association is to take into account what the person in difficulty is really experiencing, what they are ready to do to change their life, and what their possibilities and limitations are as well. It is a question of offering "tailored" support. Such a commitment naturally entails time and a great deal of adaptability on the part of the carers in listening to and understanding each individual’s story and desires.

The Association Notre-Dame des Barrails thus offers a very specific service: it provides a place to live with other people which includes being involved in daily tasks on the basis of individual capabilities. The stay has no time limit. The Association also encourages a balanced mix of people: the elderly or people who have been through a lot, more independent people, families, young people, etc.


Two houses for rehabilitation

Thanks to the property donation, the Association is able to envisage opening a second house: "La Maison Saint-Joseph" in Preignac, 50 km south-west of Bordeaux. Its location, this time rural, presents two advantages. The first concerns new arrivals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol: the sources of supply and temptations are further away than in an urban environment. The second is the possibility for residents undergoing reintegration to work in viticulture, since some of the jobs in this sector require no special training. These wine-related activities provide an outdoor life and the opportunity to develop independence. The fit is so obvious that a wine-growing network has already organised itself around this new house: promises of employment looking after the vines have already been made to residents.


Inclusive and environmentally-friendly

The Association Notre-Dame des Barrails also aims to assert its commitment to the environment in this new house. Solar panels and thermodynamic boilers and water heaters will be installed to provide hot water. Heating will be mainly provided by wood boilers, biomass stoves, and heat-diffusing wood stoves. Residents will be responsible for collecting and preparing the necessary wood. Cigarette butts will be treated using an eco-responsible system. And as the house has a rehabilitated well, well water will be used for the toilets, laundry and vegetable garden.

In the garden, organic farming principles will be employed: laying hens fed with organic grain, rainwater collectors, compost, an area dedicated to beekeeping...

The support of the Veolia Foundation will make it possible to carry out the work necessary to transform the building, including renovating the old house and the two wine storage facilities.