L’Avenir Cooperative is a non-profit organization that was created in 1983 in response to the Government of Manitoba’s Welcome Home project. At that time no residential options were open to individuals who had significant physical as well as intellectual disabilities, but the founding members of L’Avenir believed that everyone can live in the community, however complex their needs.

A small group of parents and advocates, along with the Association for Community Living, Winnipeg, formed L’Avenir Cooperative. The central idea of the cooperative was that the members being served, together with their families and advocates, had the authority to define the nature of the services they needed. They also had control over available resources. This meant that the general membership and the Board would consist of individuals being served, along with their family members or close friends/advocates.

L’Avenir enables individuals to live in their own homes with the necessary supports to allow them to lead meaningful, safe, and fulfilling lives. We strive to provide our members with staff who will help them acquire respect, dignity, and a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. While membership has fluctuated over the years, it has generally consisted, by Board (and general membership) decision, of no more thanĀ 30 members.

The first brochure about L’Avenir Cooperative stated the following as our goals:

  • to help members create for themselves meaningful lifestyles that are focused on relationships
  • to respond creatively to the needs and wishes of members
  • to enable our members to explore the risks and rewards of life’s full spectrum
  • to support families by addressing their concerns for the lifelong needs of their sons and daughters

This history was prepared by founding and current board member, Nicola Schaefer.

For more information about the beginnings of L’Avenir, see these resources:

  1. L’Avenir has a long association with Prairie Housing Cooperative. For more information about the history of Prairie Housing Cooperative, see the article by Dave and Faye Wetherow, Prairie Housing, L’Avenir, and Second-Level Community Coopertives.
  2. Does She Know She’s There? by Nicola Schaefer (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1999)