Plans to open social services center helping vulnerable kids in Verdun

The borough of Verdun and the Lester B. Pearson School Board are teaming up with the Dr. Julien Foundation to open a center providing social and health services for vulnerable children - the first of its kind for the Anglophone community on the island.

The model is based on existing centres operated by the Dr. Julien Foundation, which provide health and community services for children mainly in disadvantaged areas of the city.

The Verdun center is expected to be located in Verdun Elementary and would also serve Beurling Academy and Riverview Elementary School. 

"Instead of saying please go to the CLSC which is about six or seven blocks away and going to somebody unfamiliar, we can say, Just go right up the stairs, and we have a pediatric nurse or doctor or social workers or legal aid which you can refer to," said David Meloche, regional director with the Lester B. Pearson board.

"Some of the families that have challenges due to poverty are often very reluctant to access the services or make the reach out and go on a volunteer basis."

"They don't work just only with the kids but we work with the whole family," said mayor Jean-François Parenteau.

"I'm sure we will have some demand and that will have a great impact in the community"

If everything falls into place including funding, the centre could be up and running as of 2019.