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Face à Face with those in need

by Frédéric T. Muckle February 10, 2015
Face à Face with those in need

Ninth annual Valentine’s event is a day of comfort for the needy

Baby, it’s cold outside, very cold indeed. As Montrealers, we are all dealing with the harshest season that Mother Nature has to offer and we are all eager to see spring show its face. Still, most of us are lucky. We have a home, warm clothes and probably a few people around to help us ‘warm up.’
It will definitely sound cheesy for some, but while cursing our good old winter, we don’t necessarily have time and the opportunity to think about those unlucky individuals who have it harder than us.

Fortunately, there are people like the members of Face à Face, an organization situated at Guy-Concordia metro station, who make it their job to do just that.

Face à Face is a listening and intervention center that opened its doors to the public in 1982. The organization has done a whole lot in that time, but simply put Face à Face’s employees are there to listen and assist people struggling with social isolation, mental health issues, homelessness, addictions and other serious personal and social problems. Most of the people involved with the organization were, at some point in their life, directly involved in social work with people in need. Others were chosen because of their empathy—an essential characteristic in this line of work.

For the past nine years, Face à Face has organized an event in association with La Maison du Père and Bell volunteers as a Valentine’s Day tradition. Held at La Maison du Père, one of Montreal’s most prominent men’s shelters, the annual event invites not only the homeless, but all people willing and able to “enjoy a warm meal together,” according to Charlie Ohayon, the executive assistant at the Face à Face center.

“There is a DJ, there are meals being served, winter boots and coats are given out, and volunteers can be seen talking with guests and lending an ear,” she said. Add some hot cocoa, and there’s not much missing to this great initiative.

Next time you’re going to class or wondering when Montreal is going to take off its white coat, maybe think for a second for the people in need and people who helps them like the folks at Face à Face. Because all year long, but especially during winter, we’re all in need of a bit of warmth.

For more information on Face à Face, their community events and the various ways to help the organization, visit facebook.com/faceafacemtl.

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