“Mon Shack” expanding to offer 22 new units as of next year

By Michael Boriero and Gordon Lambie – Local Journalism Initiative
“Mon Shack” expanding to offer 22 new units as of next year
Claude Charron, President of the Borough of Lennoxville; Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and MP for Compton-Stanstead; Stine Linden-Andersen, Dean of Student Affairs at Bishop's University; Josée Parent, Mon Shack Founder and Executive Director; Julie Lane, Director of the Université de Sherbrooke's RBC centre for university excellence in child, youth, and young adult mental health; Évelyne Beaudin, Mayor of Sherbrooke; Geneviève Hébert, MNA for Saint-François. (Photo : Gordon Lambie)

In June it will be four years since the first tenants moved into Mon Shack, the supervised apartments for young adults with mental health challenges at the top of College Street in Lennoxville. With that initiative now solidly on its feet, the project’s creator and Executive Director, Josée Parent, is looking to do it all over again.

Starting at the end of June or the beginning of July, ground will be broken on a second building, that Parent is calling “Mon Shack 2.0” just a few doors down the road from the initial space. Once completed in early 2023, the founder said that the hope is to offer an expanded range of services to the entire population.

“Some things are going to be similar, because we will have supervised apartments, but it’s going to be for light needs in mental health,” she said. “Here at Mon Shack currently it is for people who have more needs, medium to high level services.”

According to Parent, the goal is to maintain the existing “shack” in its current mission while creating a second space that could accommodate people of all ages, and possibly for a longer period of time than the project’s current two-year time limit.

Sherbrooke Mayor Évelyne Beaudin, Minister of Agriculture and Compton-Stanstead MNA, Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Saint-François MNA Geneviève Hébert were all on hand for the announcement, along with Lennoxville Borough President Claude Charron and an array of community partners. The federal and provincial governments are investing nearly $6 million into the project.

According to Parent, the project will most likely get underway over the next few months and be completed within a year.

“Hopefully we’re going to be able to open and receive the first tenants at the end of March 2023,” she said, adding the opportunity to expand the organization’s services was hard to pass up.

The funding comes from the Seconde Entente Canada-Québec concernant l’Initiative pour la création rapide de logements, Parent told The Record, and it will allow her to integrate the Univers-Shack, a living lab to promote the deployment of services, research, and innovation.
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