Centraide invests $44 million in 362 agencies to support one person in seven in Greater Montreal

MONTREAL, June 17, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - This year Centraide is allocating $43,856,000 that will benefit 362 agencies and projects in the Greater Montreal area. These agencies offer services and support to one person in seven in Montreal, Laval and on the South Shore: persons in situations of vulnerability as well families, children and excluded individuals who depend on the agencies in Centraide's network for help in improving their living conditions and developing their full potential.

"These funds were raised in 2013 from donors who want to help build a more just society," said Lili-Anna Pereša, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal. "Centraide has the privilege of being the vehicle for their generosity as well as their social investor. To make a difference, we have to act at several levels. That's why we support a vast network of agencies that promote food security for families, prevent school dropout, bring seniors out of their isolation, welcome and guide immigrants in their efforts to integrate, and support people with disabilities or mental health problems who are striving to carve out a place for themselves in society."

Here are some examples of Centraide's social investments to meet the needs of the people of Greater Montreal:

Food security:

Many families are having trouble making ends meet and feeding themselves properly because of a lack of means. Centraide will invest $4.2 million to support 34 agencies in Greater Montreal that promote food security. This investment will be used to offer front-line assistance, but especially alternatives to build nutritional independence, including collective kitchens, collective gardens, food buying groups, community grocery stores and share-stores.

Academic perseverance:

The dropout rate exceeds 50% in some neighbourhoods. Centraide will invest $2.3 million in 27 agencies that promote the academic development of young people and children in order to break the cycle of poverty. The interventions made possible by this financial support include early childhood development, kindergarten preparation, mentoring for primary school students, homework assistance, back-to-school preparation and parental support.

Inclusion of seniors:

In some Montreal neighbourhoods over 50% of seniors live alone, often in poverty. Centraide will invest $2 million in 21 agencies that serve as places of mutual aid and belonging to bring seniors out of their isolation. It will also fund several initiatives that promote the integration of marginalized and excluded individuals by supporting homeless youth and people with disabilities or mental health problems, and facilitating the inclusion of newcomers.

Housing assistance:

A housing shortage in several neighbourhoods makes living conditions difficult for thousands of people. Centraide will grant $1.5 million to 16 agencies that offer housing assistance and legal information programs, as well as referral to budget planning workshops and other complementary programs.

VOLUNTEERS AT THE HEART OF THE DECISION-MAKING

Centraide's allocations process is based on the rigorous expertise and commitment of 47 allocations committee volunteers, who ensure that funds are carefully redistributed for the greatest possible long-term impact. Their decisions are informed by Centraide's territorial profiles: analysis tools that allow a better understanding of social issues and help to identify the most promising investment leads.

DANIELLE LABERGE AT THE HELM OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Responsibility for setting allocations priorities, approving grants to agencies, establishing major guidelines and ensuring good governance rests with the 30 volunteers on Centraide's Board of Directors.

At its annual general meeting yesterday evening, Centraide announced the appointment of Danielle Laberge, Professor of Management and Technology at UQAM, as Chair of the Board. She succeeds James C. Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aéroports de Montréal. Three other new directors were appointed as well: Jacques Archambault, Director of Culture, Recreation and Community Life for the City of Longueuil; Pierre Brochet, Chief of the Laval Police Department; and Mark Pathy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fednav International Ltd.

Eighty-five cents of every dollar donated to Centraide is invested back into society in the form of allocations to agencies, projects and services to the community.

Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a board of directors that is representative of the community. It serves the Island of Montreal, Laval and a part of the South Shore. Centraide supports 362 community agencies and projects that help half a million vulnerable people. Some 57,000 volunteers are involved in Centraide-supported agencies, and another 23,000 help to organize its annual campaign. Centraide is supported by some 1,500 companies, institutions, and public and parapublic organizations as well as by large trade unions. To learn more: www.centraide-mtl.org.

SOURCE Centraide of Greater Montreal

For further information:

Annick Gagnon, Public Relations Coordinator
Phone: 514 288-1261, extension 242, gagnona@centraide-mtl.org

To see Centraide's territorial profiles:
http://www.centraide-mtl.org/en/about-us/publications/