A young couple from Trois-Rivières is about to open a seniors’ residence on rue de la Vérendrye. The final preparations are underway. If all goes as planned, the establishment will be ready to welcome around 30 people in mid-January.
Parents of a one-year-old girl, Mollie Paquin and her partner Raphaël Fleury St-Pierre embarked on this project in June. “It’s a dream I’ve had since childhood. I was about 10 years old when I started dreaming about it, says the 28-year-old. I told my family that I was going to open my residence and that we were all going to live there when we were old. I had that in me, this desire to take care of others. ”
She, who is trained as a nurse, also worked as a beneficiary attendant for several years. “I did a technique in nursing, but I found that my job did not allow me to have the human contact that I was looking for, not as much as I wanted anyway. So I worked as an attendant for six years thereafter, ”explains Mollie.
As for him, Raphaël worked in the construction industry. He gave up his job to become an entrepreneur alongside his wife. “He supported me from A to Z in my project. He started with me and gave himself 115%. I am lucky to have him as a teammate, ”Mollie said.
Located at 200, rue de la Vérendrye, the “L’aisance” residence will welcome semi-autonomous elderly people with cognitive disorders under its roof. The building was acquired by the couple in October. Since then, the owners have gone to great lengths to renovate the interior of the building and complete all the paperwork prior to opening the establishment.
“It used to be a retirement home as well,” says Mollie. The building was discovered by chance. When we started the project, I had plans on another residence which was finally sold before we could make an offer to purchase. We drove past that one, by chance, and we saw that there was a sign for sale. We stopped the car and called. ”
“We were told that an offer had already been made, but that we would be called back if this did not materialize,” continues the co-owner of the place. Finally, we were called back. She was that place for us. She was waiting for us. “
Overcome the obstacles
Along the way, the project encountered several obstacles, starting with seeking funding from banking institutions.
“Since the new standards with sprinklers, it’s difficult for homes,” says Mollie. It is very expensive and several establishments have closed their doors. Because of this large number of closures, the caisses no longer lend to residences. It was a first pitfall for us. ”
Once the financing issue was settled, the couple had to go through lengthy steps to find insurance. “It took us two months to find insurance because companies don’t want to insure residences like ours. It was also necessary to meet the standards of the CIUSSS, which includes special clauses in the contract, specifies Mollie. It was a long process and it was complicated. This was finally settled in mid-December. ”
With most of the work now completed, it is with pride that they look back on how far they have come in a few weeks. “With all the obstacles that presented themselves to us, we sometimes wondered if we were going to succeed,” says the co-owner of the residence. But we persevered, we worked hard and we succeeded. ”
There are only a few small details left to sort out before opening. “We’re almost done installing the sprinkler system and we’re awaiting delivery of the kitchen hood,” says Mollie.
The opening of the “Ease” residence will generate the creation of several jobs, including around ten beneficiary attendants. The couple has also recently hired staff members. A few positions are still available.