Since October 2019, the participants of the Tremplin work platform of the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) of the Laurentians create sleeping pads using bags of milk. These participants all have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their work of creating mattresses, at the Tremplin work platform, allows them to help homeless people in the region.
Resulting from the collaboration between the CISSS des Laurentides, the Société de l’Autisme des Laurentides and a street worker for the distribution of mattresses, this project takes into account the skills and interests of the participants. Indeed, people with ASD generally appreciate repetitive and structured tasks. By explaining to them the logic behind the cutting of the milk bags, the stitching together with knots and the weaving that forms the mattress, they can visualize the end result and understand how useful the mattress is thus generating a great interest in the work.
“Three hundred bags of milk are needed to create a mattress. Participants worked hard to donate three mattresses to homeless adults in the area. Knowing that a person will be happy and not cold, thanks to a mattress that is waterproof and insulating, is a great source of motivation for these patients. Everyone can help make their community better and the participants of the Le Tremplin work platform often demonstrate this with their great achievements,” proudly emphasized Jean-Philippe Cotton, Deputy President and CEO of the CISSS des Laurentides.
The bags of milk were collected in large part with the help of the Les Croquignoles childcare center, located in Blainville. No bag collection system is in place at this time. The project is in parallel with the mission of the Le Tremplin work platform, which consists of carrying out work tasks in partnership with various traders and the CISSS des Laurentides.
Finally, patients with an autism spectrum disorder receiving services from the CISSS des Laurentides can notify their pivotal worker of their interest in participating in this work platform. People with an autism spectrum disorder who do not receive services from the CISSS des Laurentides and who wish to register for the work platform must first submit a service request via the santelaurentides.gouv.qc.ca website.