Our history

In the early years, Dans la rue developed thanks to the vision and tireless work of our founder, Father Emmett Johns (Pops).

Over the years, more and more people recognized the importance of Pops’ mission and supported Dans la rue with their time and donations.

Dans la rue has grown into a multi-disciplinary team of skilled professionals and dedicated volunteers, all committed to fulfilling Pops’ vision of helping youth survive the streets, get back on their feet, and learn the skills necessary to build a brighter and more independent future.

Evolution of our name

Le Bon Dieu dans la rue is indeed our official registered name. However, in our correspondence with our partners, Le Bon Dieu is often omitted in lieu of the shorter name, Dans la rue.

In addition, some in the community are less familiar with the full name because the media have used the less formal name, Dans la rue, more and more over time.  Others call us “Pops,” the nickname given to Father Emmett Johns, our founder, by the young people he has helped over the years.

Important Milestones

1988 – Father Emmett Johns buys a used Winnebago with a $10,000 personal loan to get help to the youth where they need it most: on the street

1989 – Board of directors of Dans la rue formed

1990 – The first motorhome is replaced with a new Winnebago donated the Rotary Club. The motorhome becomes know as “the Van”

1993 – The Bunker, Montreal’s largest overnight shelter for underage youth, opens

1995 – The Bunker undergoes renovations. Dans la rue acquires a truck to help collect donated food and clothing

1997 – The Chez Pops Day centre where youth can come to have a hot meal, talk to specialized social workers, and take classes is opened

1997 – The Emmett Johns School located in Chez Pops Day centre is opened

1998 – Purchase of a brand new custom-made motorhome (van)

2001 – The Day Centre needs more space. The Dans la rue administration office moves to a new location

2003 – Dans la rue purchases the “Bunker” building from the City of Montreal and proceeds with major renovations

2013 – Launch of the album Inspire

2014 – Opening of 17 apartments with community support

2016 – Launch of the album Pops Culture

2018 – Dans la rue celebrates its 30e anniversary


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