Partner Zone

PRAIDA-YMCA Day Centre for refugee claimants


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
9:00 am to 4:30 pm

4039 Tupper Street (Atwater Metro Station)

Participants are welcome to drop by without appointment to learn about the services and discover a very welcoming place teeming with activity.


Background and mission

In 2009, PRAIDA initiated a reflection about how to optimize individual follow-ups for refugee claimants. The process led to the conclusion that it was necessary to break refugee claimants’ social isolation through activities that complemented PRAIDA’s individual clinical services. For the idea to come to fruition, it was necessary to find a safe place that provided a suitable environment for: 1) spontaneous exchanges among refugee claimants through networking and mutual self-help; 2) information sharing and group activities that could equip refugee claimants to take charge of their lives; 3) education and training in a community context, complementing the institutional procedures. The YMCA was the only natural partner for sharing this reflection and setting up the day centre.

At the same time, refugee claimants also took part in the reflection process in a focus group attended by more than 80 adults. At the meeting, refugee claimants were unanimous in their desire to create a centre in which every refugee claimant would be received in a respectful, humane and warm manner. A centre that met their many needs and employed creative community initiatives.

A community living environment

On July 13, 2010, the PRAIDA-YMCA Day Centre for refugee claimants was created. The Day Centre is housed in the YMCA residence near the Atwater metro station. It provides a welcoming, convivial gathering place for activities, information sharing and intervention. The Day Centre also serves as a platform for fostering exchange and mutual assistance among refugee claimants. Greated by a multicultural team of volunteers, the participants are invited to have coffee, relax in the living room, and meet other refugee claimants in addition to receiving assistance and support, when needed.

The three preferred approaches to intervention are as follows: 


  • Community (group intervention and networking opportunities)
    • Refugee claimants have a chance to identify and express their needs, explore and find solutions, undertake joint projects and take advantage of networking.

    • Joint projects are developed to meet the needs of the clientele and of the stakeholders (institutions, NGOs, volunteers) who use their own strengths to achieve the desired outcomes.


  • Circular (individual and group support)
    • The Centre’s informal setting promotes open, spontaneous and genuine exchanges with the refugee claimants. Here, refugee claimants can count on receiving empathetic listening and information.  Rich in content, the exchanges are precise indicators of a refugee’s degree of vulnerability. They facilitate risk assessment and eventual referrals.

    • The Centre works systematically in all areas of the clients’ insecurity and vulnerability, in cooperation with the team conducting individual follow-ups at PRAIDA/CLSC de Côte-des-Neiges, to optimize the clientele’s living conditions (social, cultural, economic, physical, psychological, statutory, family and community).


  • Participative: Promote self-empowerment and interaction
    • The centre provides refugee claimants with an opportunity to carry out joint projects. Empowered by collective initiatives, refugee claimants become agents for change for themselves and for the entire community.

    • Through various means (tools, solutions, resources, information sessions, etc.), exchanges among participants are greatly encouraged, since everyone can make a positive contribution to the achievement and success of every project.



The Day Centre is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Participants are welcome to drop by and visit us without appointment to learn about the services and discover a warm, welcoming place, teeming with activity.


Activities and services