A GROWING IMPACT ON YOUTH AND THE COMMUNITY
A message from the Chairman of our Board and our executive director
On October 30, 2019, the City of Montreal paid tribute to our beloved founder, Pops, by naming a public square in his honour. The newly inaugurated Place Emmett-Johns is located at the intersection of Cartier Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard East. For Montrealers and friends of Dans la rue, the square serves as a reminder of the profound impact that Pops had on tens of thousands of youth since the creation of Dans la rue in 1988.
True to Pops’ values, Dans la rue continues to offer personalized programs and services to over 1,000 young people every year. One of the highlights in 2019 was the five-year anniversary of the Dans la rue apartments, during which we celebrated the incredible success the project has had. To date, 50 youth live or have lived in one of these units. Youth engagement has grown considerably this past year. Lunch-and-learn sessions are held regularly, and youth contribute to a number of projects designed to ensure services are adapted to their needs.
Our actions generate the impact they do because of our team of 60 front-line employees (psychosocial counsellors, psychologists and support staff) and 15 administrative staff members. We are honoured by, and grateful for, their professionalism and dedication. Additionally, the number of volunteers at Dans la rue rose this year, the executive team was strengthened and four new board members joined the organization.
The year saw significant progress made in bringing attention to the plight of homeless and at-risk youth and confirmed Dans la rue’s role as a leading voice advocating on their behalf. Coalition Jeunes+, a Quebec-based group led by Dans la rue, was also launched during the year to help nip youth homelessness in the bud. Through our testimony before the Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection and a series of media appearances, we raised awareness of the desperate need to provide support to youth that have spent time in the child protection system or other government-run programs. Together, they make up approximately 50% of the young people we help.
The fight against youth homelessness is spreading across the world. In Canada, the Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab was launched in April 2019 with funding from the Networks of Centres of Excellence. Its mandate is to conduct research and mobilize knowledge on youth homelessness. We are on the Lab’s board and will be following these efforts with great interest. We continue to be actively involved in the ACCESS Open Minds projects to improve the availability of mental health care for our youth.
Our sincere thanks go out to all our partners, donors, volunteers and friends for your continued trust and support as we strive to fulfill our mission.
Paul J. Setlakwe, Fednav Limitée
Cécile Arbaud, Executive Director