Santé Montréal

Community organizations


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Montréal has over 625 community organizations whose services complement those provided by the institutions of the healthcare network.

Rooted in the community, these organizations meet a wide range of needs not covered by the public network, in addition to promoting the involvement of thousands of people working toward common objectives through shared projects. 

The community organizations:

  • advocate an egalitarian approach to relationships between organizers and participants;
  • favour social and political action aimed at bringing about profound changes in legislation, institutions, markets and attitudes, in order to fight exclusion and promote equality between men and women;
  • fight poverty and discrimination; and
  • work to improve living conditions by forming support and advocacy groups and setting up services to meet the specific needs of their community.

Health associations and social associations

Health associations

A health association is a group formed by people who are suffering from or are concerned about a common physical or mental health problem.

Health associations seek to inform and educate others on the problem and to provide support and advocacy services for those who are directly affected by the condition and their families.

Social associations

A social association is a non-profit organization of people who are concerned about a common social issue and strive to promote social solidarity.

Social associations seek to inform and educate others on their particular issue, in addition to supporting those who are affected and carrying out concrete actions in their community.

Crisis centres

Help lines

Do you need to talk to someone and to be heard? Help is only a call away!

Help lines (telephone listening centres) offer direct assistance in the form of listening, support, therapeutic counselling, follow-up and evaluations for referral.

They can also tell you what resources exist and who can help you, in addition to giving you information on a specific problem.

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Support centres

For help and support and to be active in your community... Knock on the door of a support centre.

Support centres are community organizations dedicated to helping and serving people and families in their respective communities through mutual assistance activities and volunteer work.

They promote individual independence and development as well as community sharing and solidarity. 

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Referral centre

Having trouble finding what you need from among the many resources available in Montréal? Contact a referral centre! All you have to do is ask the right people.

A referral centre is a community organization whose primary purpose is to direct people to the resources that can best meet their needs. 

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Sheltered work centre

Sheltered work centres exist because... Everyone has the right to work.

Sheltered work centres are organizations that offer a supervised work environment adapted to those with special needs.

These centres enable those with limited employment opportunities to integrate into the job market. Their goal is to improve the quality of life of their personnel and promote sound management practices.

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Thrift stores / food banks

Are you going through a difficult period and need a helping hand?The comptoirs familiaux can help.

A comptoir familial is an organization that offers emergency services such as the distribution of food, clothing and household goods as well as the sale of used clothing and other goods at a reduced prices.

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Support groups

Why join a support group? Because others may be experiencing the same problem.

A support group is a non-profit organization or group of individuals within an organization working to provide support for people who are dealing with a similar issue or challenge. The group dynamic is essential to their effectiveness.

Group participants can share their concerns with others and gain strength from knowing that they are not alone.

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Community youth centres

Community youth centres - unique places for young people to get together! A special focus on youth

A community youth centre is a community organization dedicated to providing young people - aged mainly from 10 to 17 - with a place to meet, where they can talk to someone and be heard. Their mission is to prevent delinquency, help young people when they are in need, stimulate their development and well-being and improve their quality of life. 

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Last Update : 05 March 2020