Welcoming persons in social and professional difficulty to help them begin a new life in a pleasant setting

"La Nouvelle Maison des Chômeurs" receives about sixty persons daily. A friendly place, a center for information, guidance and accompaniment, it is also a place for specialized and personalized services. Its mission deserves a minimum of resources.

Social and Employment

Toulouse, France

Marie-Alcine Montaut

4 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/09/29

Project leader

AVENIR Nouvelle maison des chômeurs

The association AVENIR was created in 2002 by unemployed persons, employees, students and retirees who wanted together to develop a place for socializing and conviviality. It had to be propitious for the accompaniment and guidance of persons on the sidelines wanting to integrate or reintegrate in social life and the working world.

This new hostel for unemployed persons set the objective of welcoming, guiding, accompanying the publics it received in their attempts to join mainstream society, particularly those in a precarious situation, to assist their socialization by contact with other publics, networking, support, and promotion of all the initiatives contributing to the creation of jobs and to greater solidarity.

In 2008, the public visiting the center grew 45% over the previous year

As a direct consequence of the economic crisis, job losses generated a wave of new jobseekers. An additional 822 persons were welcomed in 2008, and 2524 participated in one or more activities in the centre, which is all at once a friendly place where you can have your morning coffee, a center for associative and administrative information, a space for personalized services where literacy courses, the writing of resumes and prospecting letters, and free Internet access, etc., are dispensed.

The "reception", common to all these activities, is one in name only for the time being, lacking resources. Tables too big, windows without blinds, mismatched furniture make this room unwelcoming and hardly professional. Nor does it reflect the work and involvement of the persons who work in the service of the association.

To recover one's dignity and the energy to act when one is down, a number of social, cultural and economic hindrances have to be removed. It's hard to do this in a setting that clashes with the elementary values of an environmental education that respects the individual.