RESPECT, HUMANISM, OPENNESS, INTEGRITY AND EQUALITY
WELCOME TO THE BENEDICT LABRE HOUSE
Our Mission & Values
- To be a harmonious community center for the development of the power to act for people in need,
- To work for social justice by encouraging peaceful relations,
- To assist communities in caring for their members, including meals, support for their social reintegration, and enhanced self-esteem,
- To promote involvement and networking among individuals, companies, and companies working in similar fields and, in some cases, to provide the necessary financial assistance.
Respect, Humanism, Openness, Integrity & Equality
Our Intervention Philosophy
The values listed previously serve as the foundation for our intervention philosophy. Our interventions are based on a humanistic approach, active listening and respect of personal rhythm. By choosing a ‟harm reduction” approach to better reach the marginalized population, our goal is to give each a chance to regain power over their lives and to reconcile with themselves and with society.
- To intervene on the consequences of homelessness,
- To give each individual the chance to regain power over their own lives and to reconcile with themselves as well as with society,
- To promote the overall health of each individual who refers to our services,
- To take action in the prevention of homelessness,
- To develop partnerships with the various bodies of health, social and community services in order to better guide those people who feel ready to take charge of their own care,
- To serve as a hub for mentoring and learning to students/ trainees in social intervention.
The history of the House dates back to 1952. Founded by Tony Walsh, under the influence of Dorothy Day*. The Labre House served as a dwelling for a dozen older men that he had met in the streets. A shelter came to be established on the upper floor of 418, rue de La Gauchetière.
In 1955, the group launched a magazine by the name of Unity. The contributors were Tony Walsh, Father William Power, Marjorie Conners, David Marvin, Murray Ballantyne, John Buell and Leo MacGillivray. During that same year, the organization moved from Rue de La Gauchetière to 122 Duke Street for a few months before finally moving to our current location on Young Street.
At that time, Griffintown was a neighborhood, where you found Patricia House and Benedict Labre House, respectively on Murray and Young Streets. Then, these were dilapidated houses filled with low-income families. The whole area was densely populated and it was not at all hard to find people in need of help.
Throughout the years, the House has changed. Gerry Pascal, the manager in the 70s, participated in various pan-Canadian movements and formed a critical, yet founded, outlook on the situation relating to homeless people. Until the 80s, the House Manager lived on-site. He lived on the third floor and depended on the food that the House received. He redistributed donated goods into the community.
In the 1980s, due to deinstitutionalization and economic recession, needs relating to homelessness became greater. During that decade, the House became a day center and students were housed on the 3rd floor in exchange for volunteering efforts. Over time, the services have been progressively adapted and have given way to the organization as we know it today.
*An American journalist, social activist, and converted Catholic. Day first lived a bohemian lifestyle before becoming famous as a social activist following her conversion. She later became a key figure in the Catholic Worker Movement and gained national recognition as a radical political figure, perhaps the most famous radical woman in the history of the American Catholic Church