One house, a thousand possibilities

Once upon a time in Ville Saint-Pierre

The origins

In the past, residents enjoyed a vibrant community life, as many activities were offered by various organizations in Saint-Pierre. However, within a few years, several significant places of gathering were devastated by fire. Then, to the dissatisfaction of many, the city of Saint-Pierre merged with that of Lachine, thus leaving a bitter taste among the citizens.

In a short time, the residents’ quality of life deteriorated, the social fabric deteriorated, the sense of belonging was attacked and places of socialization were destroyed. In short, the Saint-Pierre district has lost its landmarks and its pride …

This is how was born La P’tite Maison.

Ligne du temps

2002 : Closing of Trait d’union

After eight years of existence, the pillar of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul , Huguette Labelle Langlois, is forced to close the Trait d’union, a significant place meeting for several residents, lack of coordination relief. This is a big blow for the community of the Saint-Pierre district.

2004 : Public consultation

Three partners get together —Borough of Lachine, CLSC and Concert’action Lachine — and obtain one of the three Integrated urban revitalization pilot projects for the Saint-Pierre district. A citizen consultation is organized to identify the development axes that will form the Integrated Urban Revitalization project. One of the needs identified concerns the creation of socio-community services and activities in the neighborhood.

Based on the consultation, the Integrated Urban Revitalization Committee (CRUISP) draws up an action plan that includes four signature projects and seven development avenues, including that of the Avenue Multi-services, which later became La P’tite Maison.

2005 : Start of community initiative

Marked by the loneliness and isolation of the families she meets, the school social worker from CLSC , Rachel Monastesse, accompanied by parents of children, sets out to open a thrift store in La P’tite Maison next to the primary school. After a big cleaning chore, the group prepares for the opening on February 23, 2005. In addition to the thrift store, the goal is to provide a place where families can socialize and meet. | g2n || g2n | In the fall, the group receives help from the CLSC de Lachine neighborhood worker, Francine Blanchette, to consolidate the coffee meeting.

2006 : Demarche FECRE and La P'tite Maison

Family-school-community-succeeding together (FECRE) is a pilot project of the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sport (MELS), led by the Martin-Bélanger School . The partners who are brought together in the process reflect on actions to be taken to improve children’s academic success. In a global, integrative and systemic vision, FECRE promotes that to improve the success of children, we must necessarily act on the different spheres in which they evolve.

Thus, their family, their environment and their community become incubators for success. This is why initiatives based on this principle are emerging. French lessons and cooking lessons from here and elsewhere are examples of projects set up by the FECRE at La P’tite Maison in 2006. The kitchen project was funded through a city envelope contract RUI.

Noting the possibilities for activities, a first informal meeting took place in May 2006 with some partners such as RUI , Concert’action , CLSC and Martin-Bélanger school . From this meeting emerges the idea of a “family home” type of place.

2006 : Project funded by Centraide

We are forming a monitoring committee composed, among others, of members of the board of directors of the Integrated urban revitalization committee to monitor the mandate of the development agent. With the neighborhood worker from the CLSC and the co-coordinator of Concert’action Lachine , the development agent carried out a door-to-door survey of 100 citizens living in the most disadvantaged streets of the district, in order to know the specific concerns in terms of socio-community needs. This survey enabled us to know that citizens had little knowledge of the territory’s services and that they often confused the services offered by the borough with those of community organizations and the health network. | g2n || g2n | Needs such as the distance between old and new residents, lack of belonging, feeling of insecurity, unclean neighborhood and inaccessibility to shops, were mentioned as concerns that affect the daily life of citizens.

2007 : Action strategy through mobilization

Our strategy: The mobilization and deployment of the community development site feed off each other. Involve citizens from the design of the project to ensure that it is a lively, open place that is adapted to the needs and culture of the neighborhood. Involve the organizations that will help bring this place to life.

Always through mobilization, establish a dynamic of ownership, improve knowledge of existing resources and needs, improve the flow of information. Form a committee that will implement a communication strategy to improve the visibility of services and activities.

2008 : Progress of mobilization

While the process is developing, the citizens of Saint-Pierre continue to frequent La P’tite Maison , and others continue to invest in it. The café-meeting has always been held since its instigation in 2005. A meeting with partner community organizations and citizens takes place at the end of each season to plan the café-meetings for the next year.

For its part, the sale of clothes is gaining momentum thanks to the initiative of citizens who want to reinvest in it, with the support of the neighborhood worker. They thus form the second-hand clothing committee.

2008 : Financing of La P'tite Maison

Funding for the first year of operation is made possible thanks to the contribution of various partners. The Béati Foundation and a RUI city contract fund the coordinator’s salary and activity costs.

The CLSC contributes in human resources with her neighborhood worker and a community organizer. The Martin-Bélanger school lends the premises, maintenance equipment and canvassed the Marguerite-Bourgeois school board . This adheres to the vision and will invest in the renovation of the building and in the general maintenance of the place. Concert’action Lachine manages the funding and supervises the coordinator.

2009 : Tool kit

In order to facilitate the integration of organizations, participants and volunteers in La P’tite Maison , We have developed membership forms, as well as kits for the volunteer, facilitator and partner organization.

2010 : Long term structure

In october 2009, the governance of La P’tite Maison is assessed. A workshop is then organized with the citizens and the project partners in order to estimate the advantages, disadvantages and possibilities of financing the three avenues of structures that the Monitoring Committee has identified, namely:

1. Incorporate La P’tite Maison ;
2. Become a committee of the RUI ;
3. Stay in a partnership project with a trust.

In January, following these consultations, it was concluded that the neighborhood house project La P’tite Maison becomes a committee of the CRUISP.

2011 : Evaluation of the partnership with the CRUISP

This option was re-evaluated by the CRUISP and the Monitoring Committee one year later, in January 2011. After reflection, it was decided to incorporate La P’tite Maison as a non-profit organization (NPO). The CRUISP will give priority to the Marché St-Pierre , while recognizing the importance of continuing the deployment of La P’tite Maison . A founding board of directors will then be formed in February 2011. On March 23, 2011, a request for incorporation was sent to the Registres des entreprises du Québec .

Thus, the first directors of La P’tite Maison have been : Mariana Velazquez, Luce Nicolas et Chantal Vallée.

2011 : Foundation general meeting

Finally, a founding general assembly was held on June 20, 2011. A first board of directors was elected:

President : Francine Nadler
Vice President : Grace Ngoyi
Secretary-treasurer : Claudine Jasmin, replaced by Mélanie Poirier
Administrator : Josée Labelle
Administrator : Mariana Velasquez
Administrator : Luce Nicolas
Administrator : Chantal Vallée, replaced by Lynn Reid

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