Some 3,000 people sleep every night in the streets of Lyon. A daily tragedy that a local entrepreneur wants to end. His idea? Mobilize all the companies in the region and pool their resources so that everyone can find a roof over their heads. A powerful initiative.
This entrepreneur is Alain Mérieux, head of the Biomérieux pharmaceutical laboratories. He could no longer accept that people were living on the street without doing something about it. Alain Mérieux told France 3: “How can we accept to have women and children on the street, to let young people slip out of society? It’s crazy not to take care of it. “
Motivated by the desire to act, Alain Mérieux created “L’Entreprise des possibles” in January 2019. A year later, its network includes 38 companies and 28,000 employees. Objective? “Mobilize companies and especially their employees who feel the need to care for something more than the economy. “
The company proposes three types of action towards the homeless:
– Paid leave (supplemented by the employer)
– Volunteering during working hours with partner associations
– Providing corporation-owned space to create lodgings.
In concrete terms, “L’Entreprise des possibles” has already led to the creation of a container village capable of accommodating 80 people; training in building trades and a support system for the creation of businesses.
“L’Entreprise des possibles” states on its website: “Because we cannot remain insensitive to the plight of the homeless and the most vulnerable populations. Because there are men and women in our companies who are willing to get involved. Because our companies have untapped resources and are truly interested in serving the general interest. Because our companies firmly believe in their role in society. Together, we can act.
Today, Alain Mérieux is convinced that “L’Entreprise des possibles” will continue to grow and prove to be a success within the next three years. Ambitious? Maybe. But he is convinced that he has no choice: “If you don’t set ambitious goals, you are sure to fail.”
Source: Le petit journal des Bonnes Nouvelles, December 2019
Le petit journal des Bonnes Nouvelles, December 2019