A safety net for families

Youth success
May 19, 2022 •  By Centraide

Known as “family houses” or family community agencies, these centres are found in most Greater Montreal neighbourhoods. Some examples include La P’tite Maison de Saint-Pierre in Lachine, the Maison La Virevolte in Vieux-Longueuil, and the Maison de la famille at the Centre communautaire Val-Martin in Laval. These agencies open their doors to neighbourhood families and parents with the same goal: to improve their living conditions and empower them.

Central to their mission is strengthening the parental role and working with vulnerable families and parents at greater risk of poverty and social exclusion, particularly young parents, single-parent families, immigrant families, and families living in low-income housing.


Pressure from inflation has raised concerns about increases in the number of clients using the services of family agencies. Families who were just getting by have now fallen into poverty and need help to meet their basic needs. After two years of the pandemic and social isolation, other families are looking for a support network in their community.

Agencies that cast a wide net

Family agencies are special because of the vast array of activities they offer. They cover a wide range of needs and create a real safety net around families.

Welcome home!

Parents go to these agencies to meet with other parents in similar situations, develop skills, get respite, enjoy a welcoming and stimulating environment for their children, and take part in many activities.

Need help?

Help is available on a confidential and non-judgmental basis. Community workers are available to help parents find solutions and support them either on site at the agency itself or with home-based visits.

Feeling cooped up?

Families can go to these centres simply to get out of the house and be with people. These agencies are the perfect places to chat with other parents at a support group, coffee klatch, or a lunchtime meeting.

Need some respite?

Families can drop off their children if they want to do an activity, look for a job or simply run errands. More than just casual child care, these drop-in centres are stimulating environments where young kids can express themselves, socialize, have fun, and develop skills.

Want to participate?

Family agencies offer a wide range of affordable, educational and entertaining activities  with or without children and with other parents or families: discussion groups, talks, support groups, parenting support workshops, parent-child workshops, neighbourhood discovery tours, family outings, collective kitchens, intergenerational activities, and more.

Our contribution to family well-being.

90,000 children and parents connected with our network of around 30 family homes that offer aid and support across Greater Montreal.