|A message from the Executive Director
A year rich in achievements!
What a year! What a team! One would have thought that the past fiscal year was the year of change. And that is without taking into account the desire for innovation from my team and without thinking of the last months of 2015-2016 with their cascade of confirmed projects at an accelerated pace.
Even if these feats were accomplished in rapid succession within the Documentation team, between April 2015 and January 2016, innovation was not left out. For example, in our directory for Montréal seniors and in the one for the homeless, information capsules were incorporated, as well as a new way of processing information based on the collaboration of our key partners and community consultations. So well, in fact, that we can now speak of a new version of our specialized directories.
As for other major achievements, at the beginning of December, the City of Montréal asked us to make available a specialized helpline for Syrian refugees in order to better direct the many offers to volunteer and to donate. Our coordinators had to triple their efforts to make the service available … in one week … while our counsellors had to adapt in the same amount of time to a new work schedule expanded to 7 days, 10 hours per day, including statuary holidays. The challenge was met, magnificently … and with enthusiasm.
In December, we also received confirmation of funding from the Ministère de la Famille aiming for greater access to our Referral Helpline for Seniors and for the gradual deployment of the 211 service over the next three years in order to make access to resources for seniors that much easier. From the beginning of January, the Referral Helpline for Seniors has been available 70 hours per week … and an advertisement strategy aimed at seniors and their caregivers was presented through various media. A good start!
Then, in the springtime, our talks with the municipalities of the Montréal Metropolitan Community for the implementation of the 211 service started bearing fruit. Last March, the City of Laval kicked things off by adopting a resolution authorizing the implantation of 211 in its territory with a first step of setting up the database online as of spring. Since the official announcement, thanks to the ongoing efforts of the new 211 director, the 211 Laval site will be launched in mid-May 2016!
Meanwhile, on the specialized helplines side, the counsellors continued to respond to callers and to properly direct them through the health and social services and addiction networks despite the significant restructuring of services. As to the TeleCounselling program for compulsive gamblers, it has exceeded our expectations!
And if the trend continues, 2016-2017 won’t be any calmer. There is a lot left to accomplish so that the 211 path may progress in the Metropolitan Area and we also fully intend to continue improving our practices and intervention tools!