See the process behind building our first Véro & Louis Home
The mission of the Véro & Louis Foundation is to create homes for autistic adults aged 21 and over, with and without intellectual disabilities. After years of canvassing and hard work, the first Véro & Louis Home was finally inaugurated in Varennes in June 2021. The dream is now a reality.
We’re home! All the residents are settled in to their home in Varennes. By now, our mission was all coming together. Through our individual approach, we want to provide residents with learning opportunities to help them develop their independence. We also want to create an approach that involves and engages everyone: residents, family members, workers and the community. Even knowing that we’ll face some obstacles along the way, the team was ready and prepared to keep learning for the well-being of every resident.
We assembled the team for the Véro & Louis Home based on our values, vision and objectives. With recruitment and hiring completed, we started looking forward to working together as a big, happy family!
It took five years of courting donors, fundraising activities and events, plan development, construction and furnishing to get there! The Véro & Louis Home in Varennes was finally ready. While we were excited about this big achievement, the most important was yet to come.
Designing this innovative project went beyond the structure, bricks, furnishing and layout of the outdoor space; the heart of our mission is to provide adapted permanent housing for individuals with autism.
We’re also including educational programming to support our future residents and help them develop their potential. Our goal is for them to comfortably settle in to their home and find well-being, support and respect for differences in this environment created with them in mind.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to this first step!
We won’t forget March 2020 anytime soon. All industries were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and for us, the Home’s construction, funding activities and the hiring of staff for the Home all suffered setbacks. At the end of April 2020, it was announced that construction activities would resume. Work on the house restarted.
The first Véro & Louis Home began taking shape on September 30, 2019! The walls had been built, the different spaces had been defined, the second floor was soon to come and the roof would be installed within two weeks. In other words, construction was well underway. This was an important milestone for the Véro & Louis Foundation and its partners.
We thank Pomerleau for their support in the construction process.
On November 21, the Véro & Louis Foundation unveiled the first images of the Home to be located in Varennes.
This project, which goes far beyond just housing, was entrusted to Atelier TAG architectural firm. To meet the many highly specific criteria, they worked with a team from Université de Montréal to analyze in detail different projects from around the world that were designed to meet similar needs. The overall cost of the project was estimated at $4,150,000. The opening was planned for summer 2020.
The space was designed to meet the unique social and sensory needs of adults with autism, including particular consideration for the light, temperature, acoustics and materials.
On August 8, 2018, the Government of Quebec announced annual funding of $1.2M over a ten-year period for the Véro & Louis Foundation to provide appropriate services to the 16 residents at the first Home in Varennes. This partnership is indispensable in ensuring the residents’ well-being.
The Université de Montréal has prepared a report for the Véro & Louis Foundation to inform and fuel the design of a first home, theflagship home, whose model must be reproducible across Quebec. To this end, a study was conducted of existing specialized housing – at the regional and international levels – to establish a knowledge base on current best practices. The Faculty of Planning’s research team has also established guiding principles that promote an innovative design for the flagship home, particularly in connection with a sustainable approach to the built environment.
On May 28, 2018, La Capitale Financial Group Foundation announced a $500,000 donation to the Véro & Louis Foundation. La Capitale Foundation, like the Véro & Louis Foundation, supports persons with autism spectrum disorder. La Capitale’s involvement helps make a real difference, both through its financial contribution for the creation of these facilities and as an impetus for other partnerships. La Capitale Foundation is proud to enter into a 5-year partnership with the Véro & Louis Foundation.
On April 24, 2018, Lowe’s Canada announced a partnership with the Véro & Louis Foundation where Lowe’s Canada pledged to support the Véro & Louis Foundation with $1.5 million dollars thus contributing to the housing cause for adults with ASD. In addition to this substantial financial donation, Lowe’s Canada will support the Foundation for the purchase of materials for the construction of the first three homes, while continuing to support the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Artists’ Garage Sale.
On November 21, 2017, it was announced that the first Véro & Louis home would be in Varennes, on Montreal’s South Shore. The project drew genuine enthusiasm from Varennes’ mayor, Martin Damphousse, and he gave us a parcel of land of more than 80,000 sq. ft bordering Saint-Charles River, free of charge. The first home will accommodate between 16 and 20 residents.
On April 5, 2016, Véronique Cloutier and Louis Morissette announced the creation of their Foundation to provide a home environment well suited to the needs of adults with ASD aged 21 and over. They learned about the cause while reading the bookDeux garçons à la mère, by Guylaine Guay.
Thank you for supporting our cause!