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 personal loan of $ 10,000 to help youth on the street

1989 -Formation of Dans la rue’s Board of Directors

1990 – Replacement of the first Van by a new one given by the Rotary Club of Montreal

1993 – The largest night shelter for youth in Montreal, “The Bunker”, opens its doors

1995 – Dans la rue purchases a truck to collect donations of food and clothing

1995 – New replacement of the Van

1997 – Opening of the Day Centre, a place where young people can enjoy a hot meal, speak with specialized consellers and psychologists, participate in activities, and more.

1997 – Opening of the Emmett-Johns School in the Day Center

1998 – Thanks to the generosity of Canadian Pacific, Dans la rue acquires a new, custom-built Van

1999 – Replacement of the donation truck by a new one donated by Gaz Métropolitain

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

2005 – Dans la rue acquires its 5th Van thanks to the contribution of several partners

2013 – Launch of the “Inspire” music compilation

2014 – Opening of 17 apartments with community support

2016 – Launch of the second music compilation “Pops Culture”

2018 – Death of the founder of the organization, Father Emmett Johns, better known as “Pops” on January 13, 2018, at the age of 89 years old

2018 – Dans la rue celebrates its 30e anniversary


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