Since the founding of Relocation C&G, Clothilde and I have decided to donate a portion of our profits each year to nonprofits. It’s our way of giving back to the community.
This year, I decided to make a donation of $500 to Dans La Rue, an organization that aids homeless and at risk youth, a veritable institution in the Centre-sud, my neighbourhood since I arrived in Montreal with my family.
The history of Dans La Rue
Noting the lack of aid organizations dedicated to youth, Father Emmett Johns, called “Pops”, originally from Ireland, decided to found the organization Le Bon Dieu Dans La Rue en 1988.
Armed with his Winnebago and his good will, he started roaming the downtown streets at night to offer to the youth he crossed some respite, the warmth of a good coffee, and above all assistance and advice to help them get their lives back under control after getting off to a rocky start.
30 years later, Dans La Rue has grown. With a shelter for minors “the Bunker”, a day centre “Chez Pops”, a school, and an RV “The Van” for mobile missions, the organization has an impact on every aspect of the daily lives of troubled youth.
It’s at the day centre on the corner of Ontario and Papineau where Dans La Rue offers the majority of its services. All young people, minors or not, addicted to drugs or not, suffering from familial, legal, or financial troubles, etc. are welcome in this safe and warm space, without judgement.
Depending on their needs, they can find there: a nurse, a veterinarian for their pets, employment counsellors, art and music entertainment and activities, social workers, a school for drop-in students, a cafeteria serving warm meals, a warehouse of clothes where they can shop, toiletries, and food.
Funding and volunteering
None of this is possible without donations, both institutional and individual, in the form of time or money.
As usual in the realm of community service, each donation counts, even the smallest ones. So, you can get involved on an ad hoc basis, by helping to serve up hot dogs in the van on a weeknight, by donating some clothing, by adding some non-perishable items to your grocery list, or by monthly or annual donations.
Volunteering is good way for new arrivals to make friends, to integrate, to better understand their new community, and to start to build personal and professional networks. If you want to know more about Dans La Rue, contact us or consult the volunteering section of their website.
To conclude: portrait(s)
Veronica in administration, David in employment counselling, Joey in warehousing, Monica in visual arts, Nina in education, Dans La Rue is above all a human adventure, the success of which depends in large part on the hard work and motivation of the people involved.
I met amazing people at the day centre, and I encourage you to give them your support. I’m going to end with a mini-portrait of Joey, from New Brunswick, a former client of the centre.
A few years ago, Joey regularly sought out refuge at Chez Pops, getting check ups for his dog with the vet (and some kibbles too), and talking out his problems. He succeeded in getting his life back on track, in completing his education, and today he is responsible for Dans La Rue’s inventory. With two warehouses and two trucks to manage all of the donations (food, clothing, equipment), he’s at the head of a great team. Inspiring, isn’t it?