Project Genesis is a community organization committed to the values of social justice, equality and non-discrimination, and empowerment. With our members, we work towards social change with the goal of improving the quality of life of the disadvantaged. More specifically, our goals are:
- To improve the accessibility of social, government and community services to the disadvantaged (the poor, senior citizens, those with little formal education, new immigrants, etc.),
- To provide community organizing services on issues of local concern,
- To promote citizen participation in Project Genesis and other agencies and organizations which provide services to the community.
Project Genesis is a grassroots, non-profit community organization located in Côte-des-Neiges, a culturally diverse neighbourhood of Montreal where many people live below the poverty line.
We support neighbourhood residents in facing and resolving some of their difficult challenges, including housing problems, basic income security, and access to healthcare and other government programs. We see the links between individual problems and broader social inequities, so we provide services that help people resolve individual difficulties while also working on their root causes.
Our Individual Services include our Storefront drop-in centre and our Home Advocacy Services. We provide one-on-one help – including providing legal information, advocacy, and referrals – for a range of problems.
Through our Community Organizing, we work collectively to counteract the causes of some of the problems faced by neighbourhood residents, including working to improve housing conditions through our Housing Rights organizing, and fighting poverty through our Anti-Poverty work.
Project Genesis is a community organization run by staff, volunteers and local residents.
Adopted by Project Genesis’ Board of Directors in June 2020 to contribute to positive change:
“That Project Genesis denounces systemic racism in Montreal toward people of Black and Asian communities and beyond, and that through our neighbourhood-based areas of intervention (housing, welfare, pensions, etc.) and organizational life, Project Genesis seeks to be a part of ending such systemic racism.”
Project Genesis is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 as an outcome of a research project that highlighted problems faced by Jewish seniors living in poverty in Montreal.
Located in a storefront on Victoria Avenue in Côte-des-Neiges, the organization’s goal was to improve the situation of the people living in poverty by helping local residents better understand and defend their rights, and by providing a space where people could work together on issues of local importance.
At the modest drop-in centre, which became known simply as “the Storefront”, people could obtain free legal information, advocacy, and referrals for a range of problems, such as dealing with poor housing conditions and difficulties with government social programs. Over the years, Project Genesis worked with members of the community on initiatives responding to local needs, including day care services, access to healthcare, crime prevention programs, food baskets, a barter system, and a minimal-cost cafeteria.
In addition, through its Outreach program, Project Genesis visited apartment buildings to inform neighbourhood residents on their rights and hear their concerns.
In 2001, in response to the growing needs of the organization, Project Genesis moved to its current location, a few blocks away from the old one. Côte-des-Neiges today is a multi-ethnic neighbourhood, with a significant percentage of households still living in poverty and facing a variety of problems.
The Storefront is busier than ever, with staff and trained volunteers providing thousands of interventions per year. Our community organizing work brings together our members, volunteers, neighbourhood residents and other organizations in response to the problems we see people facing in our Storefront. Through our Housing Rights work, we promote access to quality, affordable housing. Our Anti-Poverty organizing works on concrete goals to improve the situation of the poorest in our society.