The Council provides information and referral services in person, through our website by email, and by phone. The Council continues to work on developing different tools to ensure that information about community resources is accessible. We develop services in partnership with groups and residents and focus on the concept of proximity in the priority sectors.
It has been over 30 years that the Council offers Tax Clinics during March and April every year. Since 2019, acknowledging the demand, we decided to pursue the service all year round. It proved to be continuously needed in our community; many low and modest-income residents rely on this free support to be able to complete their declaration and keep receiving financial benefits they are entitled to. Therefore, although March and April are the moment where most of the residents benefit of our tax support, May to December are now an option for those who were not able to complete their tax obligations, for many different reasons.
INFORMATION & REFERRAL SERVICE
NDG Resource Centre Making sure our residents are aware of the available services and activities in the neighbourhood is one of the Council’s mandate since its creation. We provide information and referrals by phone and emails. We use different methods to reach out to different people: door to door, Facebook, newsletter, printed notices, posters and mobile kiosks.
COMMISSIONER OF OATHS SERVICE
To ensure the proximity of services, the Council provides residents with the services of a Commissioner of Oaths. These services are free and available without appointment- 19 people benefited from this service this year.
HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES
Needs of residents are various and services in the community cannot always answer them directly. The Council, without noticing it at first, slowly increased the number of residents met individually for support. Some need only help to better understand an official communication, some cannot fill important forms, others are lost and do not even know what they need and where to start from. Our team then goes slow with them to identify the steps needed to regain confidence and put their life on the right track. On many occasions, our team members also accompanied the residents to appointments to reassure them through their journey for a better quality of life.
SPACE FOR THE COMMUNITY
The Council’s 3 meeting rooms are extensively shared amongst our staff and the community, for example with the english/french second language classes, resident gatherings and meetings, AGMs, training sessions, and more! This space lending service keeps our office a bustling hub of activity. We also share office space with smaller organisations: LogisAction, PEP, Table 0-5 , Senior Citizen Council and Y4Y are all working with us in this vibrant atmosphere. Our members are always welcome to use our space for free - we know that some residents groups and organisations have trouble accessing free space and we are proud to be able to provide this service. Through 2018-2019, neighbourhood groups were welcomed in our space for a total of 532 hours.
It has been many years that the conversation groups run at the Council, with continuous engagement from volunteers. They are great way to meet other participants and to network. All our conversation groups are free and open to all residents of NDG. Our mandate is not education and this is certainly not the goal of those groups; the Council uses them to break social isolation and have an increased direct contact with residents, allowing us to identify their needs. We continued having both in person and virtual groups through the year, in French, in English and in Spanish. The Benny Library partnered with us and welcomed a French conversation group every Wednesday. The demand is higher than the offer, many residents are on a waiting list in hope new groups will open.
SERVICE Bonhomme à Lunettes
Bonhomme à Lunettes is a valuable service that provides affordable glasses. The Council offers a space every Monday from 1 PM to 4 PM for their appointments. On average, we welcome 4 to 8 residents each Monday, we provide the residents with community information and resources while they are waiting for their turns.
McGill Dental Workshops & Clinics
2023 - For a 3rd year in a row, and this time in person, we partnered with the McGill dental Faculty to offer Oral Health workshops to our residents. Two teams of students were assigned to the Council; one worked with Papa et Moi to offer workshops to fathers and children and the other team worked with the seniors in HLM. They were able to offer valuable information along with support to register for the McGill accessible dental clinic. Through this partnership, we were able to bring a free dental clinic to the neighbourhood, once in October at Monkland Community Center and once in February at Saint-Raymond Community Centre. Dental care is expensive, many residents, along with most of the workers in our community organisations, do not have access to private insurance and cannot afford regular appointments at the dentist office. We were able to serve 34 residents at those 2 clinics.