True to Pops’ original vision, Dans la rue continues to attend to the needs of homeless and at-risk youth year after year, working to give them the tools they need to move forward on the path to self-reliance.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR AND THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Meeting their immediate needs
A major achievement in 2013–2014 was the completion of a 17 unit apartment building in conjunction with the AccèsLogis program. Construction wrapped up in December 2014, with 15 youths and two young families moving in before the holidays. They are now living independently, with community support from our counsellors to “show them the ropes” where necessary and make the sometimes tricky transition to adulthood a little smoother.
It is important to keep looking for collective, sustainable solutions to youth homelessness. Our recent survey of 110 youths shed light on a number of still-pressing needs. For example, it revealed that 42% of those who use Dans la rue’s services have been in the youth protection system. Some 60% of them have no more than a Secondary 4 education. As well, 76% assert that their mental health is poor or very poor. These findings are worrisome, to say the least.
In the mental health field, the expertise of our psychologists and counsellors has been vital in participating in the ACCESS Canada research project, the goal of which is to transform access to mental health services for 12 to 25 year olds across the country. With our solid network of partners specializing in homeless and at-risk youth in Montreal, we were picked as one of the research sites for this five year initiative. We continue to regularly strengthen our ties with our other partners so that those who need access to mental health care can receive it in a timely manner. This applies not only to treatment, but also to psychosocial follow-up, short-term shelters and longer-term housing. We will be pursuing our evaluation and strategic planning efforts to keep pace with the changes in this field in order to ensure the services we offer are as relevant as ever and make a real and lasting difference in the fight against homelessness.
This is the goal we are all working toward – employees, volunteers and Board members alike, buoyed by the invaluable support of our generous donors.
Thank you, one and all, for your commitment!
Peter J. Cullen, Stikeman Elliott LLP