Community organizations decry the lack of available workplaces in Quebec

Every week, Roger Vezina and his food distribution team at Notre-Dame de Rocamadour distribute bags full of food to approximately 80 residents of Limuelo. Canned food, milk, eggs and candy: the volunteers are busy preparing everything in their little room.

They’ve only been there for a few months. In December, they learned that they would have to leave the basement of Saint-Fidèle Church, which had been occupied by the Order for several years. Finding a new space to store food and prep bags was difficult.

We searched a bit, and then there was nothing. The only place was here. So we had no choice, otherwise the distribution would disappear. »

Quote from Roger Vezina

This is because the new site that the organization found is not suitable for its needs. It will be about 20 times smaller than the church vault and, above all, much more expensive.

Volunteers work in this new building.

Photo: Radio Canada

[ Avant] We paid less, it was 200 and a few pennies a month. Then here’s roughly $900 a month Mr. Vezina explains.

The lack of space also complicates the reception of customers, who crowd in the lobby and sometimes on the sidewalk to get bags of food.

Lack of spaces in Sainte-Foy

To the west, on the Sainte-Foy sector, Cindy-Lee McKenzie also laments the lack of space for community organizations.

The organization she runs, Ressource Espace Famille, provides support to 2,000 families in western Quebec, including a welcome center, food counter and family support.

Many families have to wait longer before receiving help. All of our projects have waiting lists, and it often has to do with the availability of premises Cindy Lee Mackenzie explains.

Cindy Lee Mackenzie, CEO of Ressource Espace Families, in an interview during an event organized by the community organization.

Cindy Lee Mackenzie, CEO of Space Resource Families

Photo: Radio Canada

The Ressource Espace Famille benefits from free premises provided to it by Quebec City, but not from fixed premises to receive customers.

We do not have permanent buildings of our own. Being a family community organisation, having to tidy up every time and not having a place available at all times for families is still a huge problem. Cindy Lee Mackenzie explains.

Not to mention that it is often necessary to book several months in advance to use the municipal premises.

The director of the organization estimates that it would cost more than $100,000 to buy or rent premises large enough to move all of the Resource Espace Famille’s activities there, which is impossible.

The outer side wall of a red brick building

The building, built in 1954, showed many signs of dilapidation. (file photo)

Photo: Radio Canada/Louis Janney

According to her, the demolition of the Pie-XII recreation center has put more pressure on building supply in the area.

generalized problem

The Moisson Quebec Food Bank works with 130 organizations in the Capitale-Nationale region and confirms to Radio-Canada in writing that Many of them have space problems, especially in Limoilou, but also in Sainte-Foy .

Volunteers at the new Moisson Québec warehouse.

Moisson Québec assists about a hundred organizations in the Capitale-Nationale region.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Marie-Michel Lacroix

Marie-Hélène Deschaise is President of Table citoyenne Littoral-Est. It also notes the lack of facilities in Quebec, particularly in Limoilou. We know that community organizations are considering leaving the neighborhood due to lack of space.

The person who also teaches community organization at Laval University is well placed to understand the importance of adequate and affordable buildings for the proper functioning of a community organization.

Marie-Hélène Deschaise, President of Table citoyenne Littoral Est, smiles for the camera.

Marie-Helen Deschaes, East Coast Citizens Table Chair.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Louis-Philippe Arsenault

It’s really well anchored in the environment it’s the front door you have to have a proper room to access people you have to have a room that allows us to store if we need to store food and stuffexplains Marie-Helen Deschaes.

To improve supply in this sector, Littoral-Est proposes to Quebec City to convert the former municipal garage of La Canardière into community buildings. The municipal administration plans to establish a business incubator there.

When you want a community to grow, you have to give it the space to do so. and argue before continuing It would be a really powerful gesture if the city gave that space back to the citizens.

Following requests submitted via email, Quebec City did not wish to comment for this article.

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