40 Years Young

Leadership

With the drafting of our charter in 1975, the 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.

Realizing that the seniors’ agenda was often excluded from larger initiatives, the NDGSCC has worked to bridge this gap. Our long-standing role has expanded in an effort to educate various sectors such as those focused on women, poverty, linguistic minorities, and ethno-cultural communities. This initiative has been largely motivated by the fact that issues affecting low-income 50+ citizens are either absent or under-represented in discussions by these groups. When presented with the reality of this population the response has been positive and increasingly open-minded. NDGSCC also contributes to the knowledge base in gerontology by participating in research projects conducted at local, national and international levels. Our main collaborations have been with the Centre de Recherche et d’Expertise en Gerontologie Sociale as well as several Montreal universities.

 

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Rationale

The 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, the NDGSCC is involved in supporting social justice initiatives that represent the real changes required to provide the right to dignity, not charity.

 

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Programs

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 N.D.G. and/or Montreal West. Several have income, health and/or age-related issues. A nominal fee is charged for certain programs.

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.

DAY AWAY
Frail 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.

INCOME TAX CLINICS
Trained volunteers assist in the preparation and filing of annual income tax returns during clinics held in March and April. A home service is offered for people who cannot attend clinics on the premises.

ACTION TRANSPORT
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).

BOOMER CAFE
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.

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Collective Action

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.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
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.

 

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