I was honoured to be named Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Maison du Père in December 2015.
My involvement with the Maison and its Foundation began in 2008 after I paid the Maison a visit. That was when realized how essential its services are for helping homeless men. I also saw that someone could slide into homelessness along a number of different paths: mental health problems, depression, drug addiction, alcoholism, job loss, etc.
In the last few years, I have consequently had an opportunity to witness the Maison’s team implement several unique, innovative projects for meeting the growing and increasingly complex needs of homeless men.
Among other accomplishments since 2008, the Maison du Père has doubled its social reintegration intake capacity and established a convalescent wing. In terms of human resources, it now has a team of nurses and attendants who look after emergency needs and, more importantly, provide referrals for the men who call on their services so that they can be reintegrated into the health network.
During this time, I have also been able to observe that the Maison du Père has exercised strong leadership by promoting greater partnership between organizations that are all combating the phenomenon of homelessness. The Maison demonstrated this by joining with the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal to save a rooming house so that its users could obtain housing at affordable prices. It also proved it by taking on a partnership role in Projet Logement Montréal, a consortium of the city’s three main shelters (Maison du Père, Welcome Hall Mission, Old Brewery Mission) and Accueil Bonneau that aims to place 250 chronically homeless individuals in housing in the next four years.
All these projects have been made possible by the contributions, in time or money, of a great many supporters: the employees of the Maison, our volunteers, our donors, the members of the Board and the Foundation, the different levels of government. They have all come together to devise, plan and carry out these projects that can have a major impact.
For all these reasons, I am proud to chair the Maison du Père Board of Directors. I have the good fortune of being supported by highly talented men and women who gladly offer their personal and professional experience for the benefit of the cause of homelessness.
In closing, I would like to congratulate and thank our employees, volunteers, members of the Board of Directors and the Foundation, and our donors, without whom we could not fulfil our mission of alleviating homelessness in the community: Because every street should have an exit.
Chairman of the Board