A word from FGM – May 2022

Here and elsewhere, families have been having a rough time lately. There was, of course, the pandemic, which hit very hard and continues to make our lives more difficult. Both parents and children still feel its ramifications, big and small. As well, this crisis, with its health, economic and social consequences, has accelerated other trends that were already affecting our communities. In Greater Montreal, inequalities have been increasing and social mobility has been declining for a few years now. The housing crisis is now even more acute, and puts pressure on families whose budgets were already being eaten into by inflation. For many, making ends meet is getting to be more and more of a challenge.

Here’s a point that bears repeating: Montreal is the poverty and child hunger capital of Quebec. Indeed, the five federal ridings in Quebec with the highest rates of child poverty in 2019 are all in this city. And let’s not forget that 34% of food aid recipients in Montreal in 2021 were households that included children. The figure was 52% for Laval and 37% for the South Shore. As always, single-parent families and those with children with special needs suffer the most.

Some pressing needs

The stress caused by poverty, precariousness or isolation has many repercussions. It notably affects young people’s mental health, family lives and academic achievement. As early as 2016-2017, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and depression were already becoming more prevalent among all cohorts of Montreal high school students, in particular among girls. The proportion of students experiencing social maladjustment or learning difficulties is also increasing, approaching one third in some sectors as of 2019. Many parents just cannot cope with these problems; they do not have the tools they need to help their children.

This situation puts our social fabric and our solidarity to the test. We have to face reality. A growing number of families, parents and children need support, or at the very least some respite. Thankfully, a number of community organizations are there to help. They provide certain essential resources that are, unfortunately, difficult – or in fact impossible – to find elsewhere. Read on to find out about a few of them.

Karel Mayrand
President and CEO
Foundation of Greater Montréal

FGM stories of the month

May 2022

Le Centre communautaire multi-ethnique de Montréal-Nord

The Centre communautaire multi-ethnique de Montréal-Nord offers services to support individuals and families, and fosters comprehension, dialogue and rapprochement between communities.

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La maison Tremplin de Longueuil

Since 1988, la maison Tremplin de Longueuil welcomes children, parents, and persons who are immigrants, or elderly, or alone and has worked actively to enhance the quality of life of families in the Vieux-Longueuil borough.

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Staffed by a multidisciplinary team for nearly 40 years, the Institut de Formation et d’Aide Communautaire à l’Enfant et à la Famille (IFACEF) was established to come to the aid of families in difficulty.

Read on