Meet Florence Portes, Director of Women’s Services of the Old Brewery Mission at the Patricia Mackenzie Pavillion.
Originally from France, Florence moved to Montreal with her family after pursuing a career in Paris as a journalist and TV reporter. Unsatisfied by simply telling stories about people, she wanted to work with people, collectively, to impact their lives.
Florence decided to volunteer with various organizations that help homeless people and individuals coping with addictions and mental health disorders. She knew she had found her calling and quickly redirected her career.
Since joining the Old Brewery Mission in 2009, Florence has seen hundreds of women emerge from personal tragedy, addictions and abusive situations, all with the assistance of counsellors and partners in the community.
“Providing shelter to homeless women isn’t a solution. It’s only part of the solution. We must support them in permanently escaping the hellish downward spiral of homelessness and reclaiming their rightful place in our community. This isn’t wishful thinking; it’s our vision—not only on International Women’s Day, but every day,” she states.
On this 2017 International Women’s Day, Florence and the entire team at the Patricia Mackenzie Lise Watier Pavilions are determined more than ever to put an end to chronic homelessness in women. Read a letter by Florence Portes published in Le Huffington Post Quebec and in the Montreal Gazette.
Meet some of the women the Patricia Mackenzie Pavillion are helping to successfully transition out of homelessness; see how Parise and Hélène are rebuilding their lives.