Providing a Supportive Hand for the Homeless

by pmort1 on April 24, 2014 - 8:04pm

The homeless population more often than not is aiming to end their homelessness. They often do not want to be in the situation that they are in presently, and all they need is a little help and guidance along with a place to think and work in order to better their lives, and more importantly get back on their feet. That is exactly what Maison du Père which translates to Father’s House, a men’s shelter and residence is doing for the local men of Montreal. The original article The Big "D" caught my attention by talking about how homeless men were given the chance at a place to live, and were given the assistance needed to help bring themselves out of poverty and back into the working class. The author explains that this is one of the first and only assistance programs in the Quebec area and shows that the government is learning how to handle the homeless situation in its area. Most of these men along with homelessness also have a number of other issues including mental health diagnoses, addiction to drugs and alcohol, and other ailments. The organization is providing a great service to the citizens of Montreal and can become a model for other large cities around the world, that have similar homeless problems, create a similar organization for their city. The Father’s House provides a large amount of services including services that will help the men navigate the various social services, so they are able to get the proper funds. The Father’s House has over one hundred employees that help them men with the services that they require. Their mission “For the street has a way ... Every street Should Have an exit …” fits well with their cause, it seems that they are implying that there are bumps along the road and if a person chooses they have the ability to exit that road and find a new one of their choosing (La Maison Du Père, n.d.).

            This organization is working to change homelessness in Canada. Because homelessness was so prevalent in Canada the government along with service agencies worked to create programs for homeless citizens. It can be hard for citizens to come forward and ask for help, but often they feel motivated to get back on track that they will ask for the services that they need. For the citizens that are not as willing to ask for services, it may be because they feel alienated from society. According to Ludwig Feuerbach, a person feels a separation or a loss from one’s self, these men often feel separated from what they used to see themselves as and do not understand themselves now that they are in this situation. Karl Marx also describes alienation as a loss from the product, process, species-being, and also fellow man. These men that are coming for services from the agency often feel alienated from the government and society because they are not getting the services that they deserve as human beings. Although with the creation of this organization they can feel more a part of society and have a chance to contribute back to it once they are able to get a job and move out of the center and into their own home. Both historic figures focused on the self and how a person reacts to certain social situations, with this example being homeless the men that are coming to the mission for services are alienated in some way from themselves or from society as a whole, and the services that are provided to them through government programs and other service agencies. Emile Durkheim explains the concept of anomie a condition than can result from a breakdown of norms, or more simply a lack of purpose in the world. Many of the people that come into the organization have a lack of purpose due to the fact that they no longer feel like a contributing member to society.

            The mission of the center is to provide a place for these men to go and have the resources available to get their lives back on track. Although the people that come to the organization, pay for the services, it only comes to about twenty five percent of their income and assistance. The center has seen an increase in need which has led to this expansion. The center has received an increase in their funding from the federal government and has been promised even more money to continue to grow services for the homeless in Montreal. They have been promised $600 million dollars over the next five years to help focus on this program. The needs are continuously increasing as many of the other homeless organizations have seen a fifty percent increase in need. The overall outputs of these services are providing these men with the skills needed to get a job, and a place to call a temporary home. For many this is all that they need to get back on their feet. They will then go on and get jobs of their own and will have the ability to create a stable life for themselves because of the help that the center provided for them. This is not a quick fix for the homeless situation, and although Canada is doing everything that they can the help the homeless, it is not going to change overnight. With the help of this agency though, they will have the resources to create a better situation for these men.

 The center offers these rooms for men only, which does not help contribute to helping the homelessness of the women and children that are out there, but the agency can consider expanding to helping women, families that are living on the streets, along with single mothers, and teens. To better services as an organization it would be a good idea for the Father’s house to expand their services to include more family friendly programs, and also services for women, and teens they could really help in the change of homelessness in Montreal. The homeless population may primarily consist of men, but women and children are also mixed into that population as well. The organization is able to provide a model for other agencies to replicate, their services appear to be working and the men of Quebec are benefiting from the services provided. With some small changes to include more help for other homeless people they can have an even stronger organization that will help even more people.

The la Maison du Père can be found at this website: