Testimonies of former residents
Young adults who pass by our house are at different stages of their lives. For some it is the right time and they will make big changes that will calmly lead them towards the goal they have set for themselves. Others see it as a step towards a future that is not yet fully defined. Sometimes they will do more than stay with us, but when they leave, all of them, without exception, will have taken one more step towards their independence and autonomy. Some of these exceptional young people have agreed to share a little bit of their story with you.
“André asked me to stay and I spent Christmas at home. It was really great.”
I discovered through Facebook the Maison Tangente. I called but there was no room, except for troubleshooting on the living room couch. Usually it’s just three days, but since it was Christmas time, André asked me to stay and I spent Christmas at home. It was really great. After six days, I had found a place to live but it didn’t work.
Before I got home, I was pretty much in the mist. Then I remembered the good times spent at Christmas with them and I called Maison Tangente, luckily, there was room this time.
Now, it’s been almost 1 year that I have been there. It’s been beautiful since that time. There are great speakers who took the time to get to know me. They helped me bring out the best in me, they compliment the kids instead of just berating them. They worked by trusting me and boosting my self-esteem. They gave me a chance despite my bad choices.
I have a dream in life: my mother went on a sailing trip before having my brothers and me. And in my turn, I participated in the Cabestan-Ecomaris program, for three weeks on a sailboat to learn how it worked.
They still kept my place at Maison Tangente during this time, so I could see the river, the stars, learn to navigate and stop my consumption once and for all. And it’s thanks to all these people.
On my birthday this year, instead of being on the street, I was giving Christmas baskets with David!
What did Maison Tangente do for me? They helped me make a budget. I was in the first year after the reform so social economy courses, there were no more! They helped me save and I am made so good that I will not tell you the amount, you would be jealous! I went back to school and I worked in a social integration company, Bois Urbain, which allowed me to discover a passion for wood, furniture. I stopped using. It’s also been eight years since I’ve done my taxes and they helped me do them. I went to five meetings at the dentist, that either I will not tell you how much it cost me not to be jealous …
What Maison Tangente did for me … it’s thanks to them that I still have hope in my eyes, that I have a smile on my face. It goes from Johanne, the director to Simone the house cat.
“Yes we can !”
A place that saved me.
A place that allowed me to continue my momentum, not to give up
Who showed me how to budget.
I developed friendships and a social network with others on the margins of society.
I feel listened to, respected, loved.
A place where they will do anything to help you keep going, even when you want to give up.
A place that allows you to lift your self-esteem when you no longer have it or when you need to get it boosted.
Tangente is a beautiful place.
We feel supported in our projects: school, work, staff, music, we can name them all, we have a lot of projects here!
Here you learn to respect yourself and others.
We also learn to develop our autonomy.
It even allowed me to develop cooking skills.
Yes we can!!!
“Without Maison Tangente, I am convinced that I would not be who I am today.”
I am no longer a resident of the house. That does not mean that I no longer get involved in the organization, on the contrary! There is no shortage of community organizations in Montreal. On the other hand, it is relatively rare for older workers to remain involved after having stopped using the services. In fact, it is rare in a large number of organizations, but not in Tangente! In Tangente, elders are always welcome. It’s part of the house’s self-help values. Residents rub shoulders with elders on a daily basis. They can ask them for advice, see them evolve and even contemplate their successes after their stay. It gives hope! Alumni are always welcome for a dinner in good company, to take part in collective kitchens organized by the post-accommodation component of the house or even to join various outings ranging from an evening at the cinema to a weekend of camping.
This is where we see the major difference between institutional and community circles: in a youth center, at 18 years old, young people are kicked out, without more support and without much consideration. In the Auberges du Coeur, each person counts. We are not numbers. We are intelligent adults with more than varied personalities, and we are treated as such!
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to help people. But it was not until I found myself on the street in 2013 and using various resources that I realized that the helping relationship is a vocation. Today, I am a peer helper. My job is to make connections and work with street youth. Without Maison Tangente, I am convinced that I would not be who I am today. I was given hope. I was encouraged in the pursuit of my dreams. My role models, my superheroes, are the entire Maison Tangente intervention team. I have never met people so devoted to their cause. I take my hat off to them and every day I will do my best to become at least as good as they are. Thank you, this is a very short word to express my gratitude to Tangente and his team. I have told them over and over, and I will never tell them enough.
“A place where those who have been injured or unlucky can find refuge.”
Life is a difficult and risky occupation. This is why the existence of a place like La Maison Tangente is justified, a place where those who have been injured or unlucky can find a refuge to recover as well as assistance to heal.
In my own life there have been two such occasions when it seemed inevitable that I would find myself homeless, and in both cases it was Tangente who offered me not only a roof, but also the wisdom of forgive me for my failures as well as advice to avoid future mistakes.
The first time I turned to this resource, of which I was previously ignorant, in particular, marked me. After a long series of bad luck and bad decisions, I found myself, at the time, alone in a city that I did not know at all, being, moreover, penniless and afflicted by a severe visual disturbance, the future seemed daunting and my options limited. I appealed to several similar social organizations, but all were not very enthusiastic about accepting my candidacy because of my handicap, except Tangente who gave me a chance and who, I dare to believe, did not have to regret it . And so, I think Tangente, as an organization, should be praised for its openness.
But Maison Tangente deserves to be admired for more, and above all, for its dedicated and experienced staff. This dynamic and efficient team never lacks ingenious ideas to solve the various difficulties that arise, nor patience to deal with a clientele that rarely represents the ideal of society. All members of the stakeholder team are also adept at gaining the respect and trust of young people, even those who are not generally quick to offer one or the other.
All in all, Maison Tangente is a perfect place to get back on your feet, whether through social reintegration, tips to better manage your money, or simply to rebuild your self-confidence. And Tangente even makes the process fun!
Ben the viking
“I knew there were significant adults who believed in me, in my abilities, in my talents.”
It’s been a nasty time, over 20 years … 1993? 1994? Water has flowed under the bridge since then! We saw each other sometimes afterwards, but … I wanted to give you news.
I would like to testify to the contribution, help and support you have given me. Emotional support. Great listening without judgment. My passage of a few years (!) With you allowed me to get back to my place, to rest, to refocus, to make better decisions. Also allowed me to maintain self-esteem, not having the support of my parents. Among others. To turn the pendulum, a little bit.
Now I work in the community – what a surprise !! 🙂 in the Lanaudière region, MRC de l’Assomption .. to locate. I am a store manager and assistant in the coordination of a school animation cooperative (CAJA), in a secondary school; It is really exciting to work with teenagers (let’s say that I have experience to listen and understand!), I am on the CA of the Maison des Jeunes of St-Sulpice, on the CA of the Regional Table of the social economy of Lanaudière (TRESL) and I am also president of the Jardins du Méandre, a resource for autistic clients.
My son is autistic. Light, but …. for my part, it’s an extraordinary adventure, it puts your feet firmly anchored on the ground !!! And at 38, I have been carrying a very awaited little girl for 5 months now !!! My life is just great.
If you had not all been there for me I would not have had this journey. I knew there were significant adults who believed in me, in my abilities, in my talents. And I really needed it, at this age, at this period. Martine and Johanne, you were more than interveners for me. You have been kind and protective big sisters. You protected me when it was time, and you brewed me too when needed.
Thank you from the heart. I think of you quite often !!! Give my news to the old ones !!!! You have been such an amazing gang !!
I love you !