Our business was born in response to the community’s growing need for domestic help for seniors. Several avenues were previously explored in this regard (Ménage à tout, Club des Lions, Centre d’action bénévole, Carrefour de la santé et des services sociaux, etc.); however, for various reasons, and in spite of the efforts of several local stakeholders, no project ever materialized. In October 1996, at the Summit on the Economy and Employment, a proposal was finally put forward to meet these needs across Quebec. The concept was to combine public funding with user contributions. The program, created by the Ministère des Finances, came under the responsibility of the Ministère de santé et des services sociaux, which appointed the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec as the program’s managing authority. A coalition called the Chantier d’économie sociale, together with regional boards, were then tasked with cooperating in order to set up domestic help social economy businesses.
Having caught wind of the project, various organizations in the region came together; the Centre d’action bénévole, Carrefour de la santé et des services sociaux, Service d’aide au développement des collectivités, different municipalities, and the Table des aînées anglophones et francophones all submitted a request for the creation of a business that would enable residents of the Coaticook MRC to take advantage of this program.
The request was approved, and the business was accredited by the Comité bipartite régional en aide domestique région-Estrie on May 14, 1998, before being incorporated on July 14, 1998. A sum of $40,000 in start-up funding was awarded in order to be able to hire a director and build up working capital. The business began operations on September 8, 1998. In its first year, 8 jobs were created and 4,352 hours of services were provided.
In 2005, in close collaboration with the health network, presence-monitoring services were added to meet the needs of family caregivers in need of respite. These services were in addition to, rather than part of, the service bundle under the Financial Assistance Program for Domestic Help Services (FAPDHS).
Ever since, the business has continued to develop from year to year. Thanks to numerous partnerships with social organizations in the community, it is able to meet the demand for services across all the municipalities that make up the Coaticook MRC. As of 2016, the business boasts a team of 22 workers who travel across the region to deliver an annual 20,000 hours of service.