With the drafting of our charter in 1975, NDGSCC undertook a responsibility to advocate on behalf of the older population on a broader scale. Since 2007 we have expanded our role in the community in terms of both education and collective action.
NDGSCC is working to address the underlying causes of poverty and social exclusion at both the provincial and local levels.
In collaboration with numerous local and regional organizations, NDGSCC is involved in supporting social justice initiatives that represent the real changes required to provide the right to dignity, not charity.
NDGSCC provides advocacy for individuals who are 50 years of age and over. We intervene on behalf of individuals who are experiencing roadblocks related to housing, finances, accessing health services or interpersonal difficulties. Our programs are designed to address the social isolation felt by the low-income 50 plus. We create community by providing opportunities for people to interact with their peers. We ensure that people aged 50 to 100 have adequate transportation for their health care needs as well as access to government income programs. Services are offered to residents of NDG, Montreal West and the two most disadvantaged sectors of Cote St. Luc (Bailey and Westminster). Several have income, health and/or age-related issues.
INFORMATION AND REFERRAL
Individuals are assisted in acquiring information that they may need. Every effort is made to connect them with the appropriate resources as well as to explain the process of accessing government and private services.
Older people participate in this social and recreational program offering stimulating activities and companionship. Participants are involved in the planning of programs and the sharing of skills. Transportation is provided and assistance is tailored to the individual needs of participants.
Our 2019 tax clinic served 202 seniors on-site and 47 seniors who have difficulty leaving their homes. Information packages are provided along with refreshments in a caring environment. This is important given the amount of anxiety often experienced by seniors regarding tax declarations and its impact on essential revenue program. The service is offered at no cost by an experienced team of volunteers.
Transportation to medical appointments and treatment is provided by a paid driver or volunteer for people who cannot use public transportation. This service is for individuals who are unable to use regular public transportation and who are ineligible for adapted transport (STM).
The Boomer cafe is a collaboration between NDGSCC and the NDG Food Depot which offers a weekly drop-in center for the low-income 50 plus. This program aims to improve the quality of life of boomers and lift the spirits of its members by offering a healthy meal, yoga, outings, cultural and educational activities as well as monthly bartering of household items and clothing. The Boomer cafe gives the 50 plus the opportunity to learn new skills and to share their skills with other group members, as well as both give and receive support from their peers.
Individual advocacy serves as a bridge between seniors and the formal public sector. Whether it is about waiting for a social worker to be assigned or someone in need of an air conditioner or dentures our advocate works towards a solution that is effective, prompt and empowering. Assessments are carried out and a short-term intervention plan is created. With extensive wait lists for many public sector departments this service provides critical support in a timely and caring manner.
PICNIC IN THE PARK
105 BUS CAMPAIGN
NDGSCC conducted a highly successful campaign to reinstate cancelled 105 buses, and educated STM officials and local politicians about the particular challenges associated with this route. Local residents have approached campaign organizers to thank them personally for getting involved and revealing how deplorable the situation was for many individuals who rely on this bus.
In association with the NDG Pedestrian and Cyclists Association and the NDG Citizens’ Committee (QVAS), NDGSCC organized a “slow walk” across Sherbrooke Street at the corner of Wilson. It aimed to demonstrate the potential dangers of green lights/walk indicators that change too quickly, not allowing adequate time for individuals with reduced mobility as well as those pushing baby strollers to cross the street. NDGSCC also collaborated with the Cummings Centre social action committee to highlight safety issues at the intersection of Monkland and Cavendish.
SOCIAL TRANSIT RATES
NDGSCC is a member of a Montreal-wide committee working for affordable public transit rates for low-income adults. One of the actions this year featured a message on a “ticket” highlighting the need for social rates. Hundreds were printed and sent to the Head of the executive committee on transportation for the City of Montreal.