To our dear friends and supporters!
2023 is almost over and Communitas has much to report on!
Open Door – Our signature program continues to draw 25 to 30 participants each week. From April 2023 – March 2024, 890 persons attended Open Door, including 434 ex-prisoners and prisoners escorted from two minimum security penitentiaries (Federal Training Centre and Archambault Minimum). Prisoners on Unescorted Temporary Absence (UTA) from the prison continue to choose to attend Open Door even though they have a choice of outings. Our volunteer attendance is also very consistent, and we regularly welcome enthusiastic newcomers. Finally, we are delighted that four new escort drivers are being trained!
Table Talk – Another great success marking 2023 has been Table Talk, our free Friday lunch, which takes place at our office in the Undercroft. Attendance has grown from an average of 8 attendees to 15 or even 20 persons each week. Volunteers step up to prepare a hot meal, and somewhat like Open Door, you never know what to expect – it’s an enjoyable surprise!
Chapel Activities – In other good news, we have added another Minimum Security Prison to our Chapel Activities: our volunteers now visit Archambault Minimum one afternoon a month! We continue to visit the two prisons (Minimum and Medium Security) at Federal Training Center in Laval each Thursday night. As more volunteers have been certified by the Correctional Service of Canada, we are now able to do more ‘prison in-reach.’ Both inmates and volunteers continue to express their enjoyment to the Chaplains at the three institutions.
One-on-one Pastoral Accompaniment – This year we have doubled the number of one-on-one pastoral visits to incarcerated men. This is also an opportunity to identify men wishing to have a Circle of Support and Accountability (CoSA) when they are released.
As we start our 2023 annual fundraising drive, Communitas welcomes your donations for our activities. This is particularly relevant given the loss of Government funding in 2021, leaving us wholly dependent on donations from our members, supporters and the general public.
Donors are invited to contribute to Communitas through the Canada Helps button on our website, www.communitasmontreal.org. Cheques are also welcome and can be mailed to our office at 1444 Union Avenue.
We strongly encourage you to become a monthly contributor to our Organization. This will assist with our long-term planning, especially as we continue to envision serving a greater client base.
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all members, supporters and well-wishers for your financial and moral support, without which our work could not succeed.
Michele Rattray-Huish, President
Mouvement Communitas Inc.
1444 Union Avenue, Montreal QC, H3A 2B8
Tel: +1 514 244 6147