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Our History

Our organizational history:

 

We will touch on the birth of the organization, its evolution and development, the integrated services involving other partners which it offers men, including the Suicide Prevention Centre of the Haute-Yamaska, the CLSC of the Haute-Yamaska, the Youth Centre of Montérégie, of the Granby sector (Haute-Yamaska) and the Brome-Missisquoi sector. We will describe the services currently offered, as well as opportunities for development on a short- and long-term basis.

Birth of the organization (1988–1989)

The Ressource pour Hommes arose from an initiative spearheaded by counsellors from the Haute-Yamaska CLSC.

MMs. Mireille Choinière, community worker, and Mr. Claude Leblond, social worker, therapist for violent spouses, and head of the Poing Final service (now known as Point Final), who were under the responsibility of the same CLSC at the time. They reached out to community members sensitive to the needs of men and aware of the lack of services specifically available to them and joined hands to conceive a suitable resource. The original team consisted of the following individuals: Gilles Brodeur, Mireille Choinière, Jocelyne Déry, André Lacasse, Marco Lacasse, Claude Leblond, Denis Loranger and Robert Paquette. The following milestones were reached thanks to this group of people. Some of these individuals have since retired and others have partnered with other members. Their shared perceptions regarding the specific needs of men led to a summary review or organizations offering services tailored for men and their goals.

A fundraiser to raise awareness and gather information on issues impacting men in our region. Approximately 30 men participated in the event held in the fall of 1988, which served to identify concrete issues and justify the need to start a community-based organization.

Over the course of the next several months, the team was made to consist of a provisional council and worked to develop the goals and general objectives of the organization. The first request for a subsidy was made to the Soutien aux organismes communautaires MSSS (S.O.C.), and a request for incorporation was granted on March 22, 1989.

An evening of discussion was held on the topic of gender relations, organized by a subcommittee formed in part by the participants of the first fundraising event. A first operations manual was developed (outlining the mission, general objectives, and action plan for the first year), as well as a list of general rules governing the organization going forward, with the upcoming foundation assembly on April 24, 1989 in mind.

As a result of the amalgamation of support groups geared towards violent spouses, our prevention services for men in crisis situations (such as separation and suicide) are no longer funded.


We continue to offer these services even though since 1992, our baseline budget has been integrated into the financial policy for counselling groups dedicated to intimate partner violence. Our male-focused counselling is now self-funded.

Adolescence (1989–1991)

These teenage years allowed the Ressource pour Hommes to gain a foothold within the community.

Working mainly through employment programs and with volunteer or contractual counsellors for screening interviews and group screening, our organization began establishing itself within the male client base and other local organizations.

Securing the first budget for men’s issues from the SOC, employment projects, the volunteer work of social workers and local psychologists allowed us to form support groups for men going through breakups, host several events to raise public awareness, and start up our first reflection groups on various topics concerning men’s issues.

Collaboration with the Haute-Yamaska CLSC began, specifically with the Poing Final program (now known as Point Final)—for violent male partners. Negotiations ensued that would see services from CLSC become integrated with the program. But having developed a high level of expertise, and with a reputation to uphold, the CLSC is hesitant to the transfer of services, despite the excellent contacts involved in the program.

Finally, in January of 1991, we signed our first contract with the Haute-Yamaska CLSC, for service-related loans (such as facilities, a registrar’s office, and office space) and a co-facilitator to host intervention groups for violent male partners (one day group and one evening group), along with a contractual worker from Ressource pour Hommes.

Since the integration of these two groups, our preventive services offered to men in situations of distress (such as breakups, those considering suicide) and our group meetings that focus on men’s issues no longer receive funding.


We continue to offer these services even though our baseline budget was integrated into the broader financial policy that funds intervention groups for violent male partners. All our interventions for men’s issues are now self-funded.

Late adolescence (1992–1993)

The Ressource pour Hommes gains a stronger foothold in the community, while still receiving logistical support and loans from the CLSC of the Haute-Yamaska. In addition, the Ressource stepped up its collaboration and coordination efforts with several partners across Quebec.

We kept on offering our education and prevention services. We hosted three intervention groups for violent male partners and developed awareness groups with both provincial detention institutions, one awareness group with a halfway house, as well with a program wishing to intervene among detainees at the Cowansville Federal Detention Centre.

The demand for services kept growing and cooperation became increasingly regular, particularly with the Le Passant men’s shelter and the Haute-Yamaska suicide prevention centre.


The Le Passant Men’s shelter relocated so that it could build a crisis centre. At first, we rented their old facilities and integrated our intervention services. We started to offer in-shelter prevention services for intimate partner violence, difficult separations, and suicide crises.

The big leap (1995–1998)

In 1996, we finally settled into our administrative branch at 436 Horner, all the while maintaining our group services offered on Pie IX Blvd. In the process of amalgamating several services that materialized in June 1996 at a joint general assembly with a progressive intervention plan, we were able to make this transition under one administration with the same direction, and with an administrative council composed of a mixed group.

The mission and budgets of both organizations remained separate, but the amalgamation of several services allowed us to maximize the use of funding to offer services to clients. Both organizations strived to better integrate their services for men, and the presence of the Suicide Prevention Team added crucial expertise to our crisis services.

Intervention groups for violent male partners grew with the implementation of regular pre-group meetings (days and evenings) and availability to book extra meetings according to need. Now maintained three regular groups, and at one point, maintained five group for a period of several months.


In collaboration with the youth group in our immediate area, we formed a violence awareness group for teens and youth. We based our first groups on cases from the youth centre and from a high school in Cowansville. The appearance of a group home (for nine teens) in the sector, coupled with a potential growing demand from other high schools in the area, compelled us to give further consideration as to the future of the group.

Autonomy (1999–2000)

The story leading up the summary of activities of the three past years is what we use as the basis of our current way of thinking. For nearly two years now, we have kept our focus on prevention and have been looking for ways to implement services that aim to reduce the incidence of intimate partner violence against men in our region. After several years of dithering, we are now committed to helping youth (for obtaining visitation rights, allowing supervised visits, forming support groups for teens…).

We hold pre-group meetings for members of our violent partner support groups, which have helped to reduce dropout rates for regular group therapy and significantly reduce wait times for integration.

In November 1998, the Ressource pour Hommes, by way of a special general assembly, appointed an administrative committee separate from that of the Le Passant shelter. The administrative ties established during previous years were inadequate and created confusion surrounding the missions of the two organizations. A partnership to ensure complementary services remains and has resulted in an increase in the number of services available to men in situations of difficulty at the Ressource pour Hommes.


As growth continued, our facilities became insufficient, so in March of 1999, the Ressource pour Hommes expanded to its location at 739 Dufferin, a larger and more appropriate facility that will be suitable for the years to come.

Anniversary and development (2014–2015)

The number of counselors and clients only keeps growing. Our facilities have required expansion work twice now.

The organization celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014–2015. Several activities were organized to mark this important milestone in our development. We took advantage of this unique occasion offered to us to increase our visibility and raise awareness about the services available to our partners and to the general population. The festivities also allowed us to hire several new members.


A new service was implemented in 2015: the HASE project—aimed at helping male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Major development (2020)

The Ressource pour hommes de la Haute-Yamaska opens the regions’ first housing resource for fathers and their children: the Maison Oxygène des Yamaska.

Current (2020–present day)

The number of counselors and clients only keeps growing. Our facilities have required expansion work four times.

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