10From left to right, back row: Matthew Pearce, President and CEO, Old Brewery Mission; Eric Maldoff, Chair of the board of directors, Old Brewery Mission; Marie Claire Morin, Executive Director, Old Brewery Mission Foundation.
From left to right, front row: Jill Martis, Vice-Chair of the board of directors, Old Brewery Mission; Lise Watier, President of the Lise Watier Foundation and patron of honor of the Mission’s 125th anniversary; Morrie Cohen, Vice-Chair Emeritus of the board of directors, Old Brewery Mission; Rick Leckner, Outgoing Chair of the board of directors, Old Brewery Mission Foundation.
The Lise Watier Foundation’s Leadership donation of $500,000 will be dedicated to the Old Brewery Mission’s Les Voisines program. This innovative program offers homeless women a living space at the Patricia Mackenzie Pavilion where they can live alongside others and receive psychosocial support.
Ten participants practice essential life skills while benefiting from psychological support services. By focusing on the development of the participants’ personal skills and autonomy, the program has shown that women who are provided with a normal setting regain a desire for independence. “Given that the primary mission of the Lise Watier Foundation is to promote the financial independence of women in need, the Old Brewery Mission’s Les Voisines program immediately appealed to us,” explains Lise Watier. “It is critical to provide to vulnerable women (often single parents) the opportunity of retaking control of their lives and regaining the dignity that is essential to their self-fulfillment,” she concludes.
“The program, which has existed for less than four years, has had convincing results: since October of 2012, 98 women have participated in this program, 85% of whom have gone from living on the streets to a stable life in the community,” adds Matthew Pearce, President and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission.
The Major Fundraising Campaign aims to raise $26 million from private sources by 2020. In line with this, Louis Audet, President and CEO of Cogeco and Chair of the Campaign Cabinet, has been engaged in putting an end to homelessness. “Since joining the Old Brewery Mission, I have been deeply moved by the remarkable generosity of the Montreal business community, including the Lise Watier Foundation, in addressing the problem of women’s homelessness,” says Mr. Audet.