Going home with the Home Project

Topics: Quebec
July 15, 2015

Each year, business students at the École d'entrepreneurship de Beauce must take on an entrepreneurial challenge within the community. On July 6, 2013, a terrible tragedy struck Lac-Mégantic. Among the victims were Gaétan Lafontaine, one of the leaders who attended that very school, and his wife Joanie Turmel. That year's class decided to carry out a project that would help the community of Lac-Mégantic get back on its feet. While there were numerous issues to be tackled, rebuilding housing was one of the most urgent. And so the Home Project was born. Thanks to the team's dedicated work in fundraising, accounting, communications, and overseeing construction, a 12-unit housing cooperative was completed in June 2015.
Red Cross funds helped make the building accessible for people with reduced mobility, level the site, and pave the parking area. "The Red Cross support arrived at a critical time. Given its scale, the project took a long time to get going and it gave our team a second wind," said Marie-Claire Filion, a Home Project team member. "We would like to extend a huge thank you to donors and the Red Cross. We appreciated the transparency in the management of our case. We were always kept informed and it was a great team effort." Marie-Claire also said that the human element was deeply appreciated. "I never felt like I was talking to a robot. The person that processed our request made sure they thoroughly understood the project. "
The Home Project gave 12 families the power to dream and a roof over their heads after experiencing so much uncertainty. We would give an A+ to the class, who demonstrated how entrepreneurs can use their expertise to help their communities. 


Home Project tenants in front of the newly completed building.
Left is Yves Gilbert, Director of the Red Cross in Lac-Mégantic.

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