Housing, an essential condition for a return to employment

Without a permanent address, finding employment is an uphill battle. To give vulnerable people a better chance of finding work, Entrepreneurs du Monde, supported by the Rexel Foundation, has launched the “Un toit vers l’Emploi” program.


The “tiny house”: A vocational reintegration tool

With “Un toit vers l’Emploi,” Entrepreneurs du Monde helps homeless people find a stable and secure home, which facilitates their return to employment. According to a 2014 study by INSEE, only 25% of them have a job. Therefore, the program aims to break the vicious cycle linking homelessness to unemployment or even social exclusion. More broadly, the program fosters their social reintegration in several ways, enabling them to recover a sense of dignity and self-confidence, reintegrate through work, and benefit from a certain level of stability in their daily lives. The housing takes the form of a “tiny house,” which is a small functional house of about 20m2, made of wood, with the advantage of being mobile – a considerable asset when beneficiaries need to be able to move closer to their workplace on short notice.

When social innovation and sustainable development go hand in hand

Thanks to a low-cost rent adapted to residents’ means, the “tiny house” provides the basic serenity needed for job hunting. Arranged by its occupants with the help of a partner carpentry company, it also gives them the perfect setting for recovering their autonomy. Beyond its social virtues, the “tiny house” has particularly attractive environmental qualities. The impact of these houses on the environment is largely limited by their design, their production, and their use. Moreover, the interior furnishings are built from materials selected to facilitate their end-of-life recycling.

Energy efficiency, another priority

The Rexel Foundation has been particularly interested in this eco-responsible approach in which energy efficiency plays a large part. To go further, beyond its financial support, the Rexel Foundation seeks to build synergies with various stakeholders in its ecosystem and foster promising partnerships. To this end, Rexel’s solar kit supplier will provide its water heating equipment at a very reasonable price. This will further improve the tiny houses’ energy autonomy, turning them into tools serving a genuine environmental aim. The first two houses have been delivered to Rouen (France) and two more should soon be made available in the same area. Finally, before the end of 2020, a company designed to build these houses will be created in order to scale the project and bring comfort to people in great need.