Our approach

Our approach

Our purpose at L’Abri en Ville is to provide stable homes and authentic community for adults diagnosed with a major mental illness.

L’Abri rents three-bedroom apartments and furnishes them attractively. Through a series of referrals and interviews, the coordinators choose three residents for each apartment. Potential residents can apply to L’Abri en Ville themselves but are more often referred by mental health professionals, and sometimes families. Each resident agrees to pay his or her share of the rent and utilities. Each is responsible for a share of the housework.

We attract a team of volunteers who help in the development of daily management skills, as needed – shopping, budgeting, planning and preparing meals, or organizing space. Most importantly, they help build bridges to the wider community through participation with residents in social activities and shared interests. Each team of volunteers meets with the coordinator assigned to their apartment every four to six weeks to review progress and plan activities.

Residents of each apartment have a weekly house meeting with their coordinator to ensure that daily life is running smoothly, and to discuss upcoming events. Individual residents also meet with a coordinator as needed. Residents are expected to have some structure to their days: some work part-time at paying jobs or as volunteers; others may attend classes or involve themselves in physical activities. Living arrangements differ from apartment to apartment. For example, some residents prepare and eat meals together, while others eat on their own.

Residents take part in planning group activities open to all apartments, such as bowling, seasonal parties, camp weekends and workshops. Through the annual design and sale of greeting cards, they raise funds for their own special outings which they plan as a group. No social activity is compulsory, but residents are encouraged to participate in at least some.