Giving Project Montreal, a grassroots community initiative supported and coordinated entirely by volunteers, is helping to fully furnish seven apartment units for families in need.
The goal of Giving Project Montreal is to identify specific needs in the community, adopt projects based on those needs, and execute them in tandem with local charities.
“We came up with the idea — Brenda really came up with the idea — of giving to people, nice and simple,” said Kara Maritzer, co-founder of Giving Project Montreal.
“What does that mean? Identifying organizations in the city that need some help, and the first one we Identified was O3.”
O3 organization is a charitable organization located in Notre-Dame-De-Grace that is working to fully furnish seven apartment units for the new tenants.
“While we knew that this being our first project, that it would be very difficult right out of the gate, we wanted a big challenge — we really wanted to go big so we took on a project of trying to furnish seven apartments, and I think we succeeded,” Maritzer said.
Les maisons transitionnelles O3’s mission is to help young and vulnerable families by providing affordable transitional housing and support services.
O3 — which stands for “On Our Own” — is a program for young parents (particularly single moms) with young children.
This collaboration makes their job a little easier.
“Normally, what we have the capacity to do as an organization is to say we are going to have programming, we are going to have workshops, we going to have one-on-one counselling, we are going to help you with your parenting but what we don’t have the resources to do is set an apartment for a new family,” O3 director Ushana Houston said.
Houston said this will have a long-term impact on the new families.
“It sets the tone that when a mom moves in with her child, no matter what background she came from, no matter how hard it’s been, she’s going to walk into that apartment and it’s going to be fully furnished, it’s going to set the tone that someone sees you and someone cares about you. Enough to do this. This is the tone here at O3 and the rest of your life,” Houston said.
The newly furnished apartment units will be ready at the beginning of October. O3 and Giving Project Montreal plan to continue working together.
“We realized there was a need for people to help other people,” Maritzer said. “We also felt that a lot of the people that we knew, our colleagues, our friends, needed more purpose.”