The past year at Dans la rue has seen several new initiatives get off the ground and has given us an opportunity to contemplate how our work can be even more impactful moving forward.
Our 17-unit apartment complex, which we opened in December 2014, has proven to be an unmitigated success, despite a few understandable setbacks at the outset. The apartments were all occupied within two weeks of the launch. Eleven of the original residents are still living there, supported by an on-site team of counsellors, and are engaged in meaningful pursuits. Seven of the current residents have or have
had a job. Seven are going or have gone to school. For all of them, the instability that once marked their lives is now a thing of the past.
Mental health continues to be one of our core focuses. Some 76% of the youth who use Dans la rue’s services consider their mental health to be fair or poor, and life in the streets or in a high-risk setting only makes matters worse. Taking swift action is key to stopping these problems from escalating and helping youth build on their strengths to avoid insecure living conditions.
As part of our involvement with the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness, Dans la rue is proud to have joined forces with A Way Home (Vers un chez-soi), a coalition dedicated to preventing, reducing, and ending youth homelessness in Canada. The 25 community organizations in the coalition are joined by researchers from the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and other prominent partners with the goal of sharing knowledge, generating conclusive data and engaging public and community stakeholders with regard to this critical social issue.
Reducing youth homelessness is about restoring human dignity and taking longterm action to build a fairer and more inclusive society.
This is the thrust that underpins our strategic approach here at Dans la rue and helps us broaden our horizons so that our youth can continue broadening theirs.
The help we receive is vital towards keeping this momentum going
Each and every member of our team takes Dans la rue’s mission to heart. Some 40 counsellors and clinical workers strive tirelessly to forge connections with the young people who turn to us for help. They listen without judging, encourage without patronizing, and support without setting conditions. As experts in their respective fields, they are devoted to expanding their knowledge on an ongoing basis and are constantly coming up with innovative ideas for the solutions we offer.
With two new board members and a brand-new chair on our team, along with more than 100 volunteers reaching out to youth via the Van, the Bunker, and the Day Centre, Dans la rue has very solid foundations in place.
We are also very fortunate to have an incredibly loyal group of donors. Over 12,000 individuals, foundations, companies, community groups, and associations contribute to helping our youth.
To our volunteers, donors, partners, friends and work teams: your support means the world to us. We share your vision of creating a better tomorrow for our young people.
Cécile Arbaud, executive director
Paul J. Setlakwe, Fednav Limited