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Agape aims to open a satellite office in eastern Laval by 2024

But Chomedey will remain the social services provider’s home base

With a series of provincial government subsidies lined up, the Youth and Parents Agape Association has plans to open a satellite office, expanding services now available from its Chomedey headquarters to English-speaking people in the eastern half of Laval three years from now.

According to Agape executive-director Kevin McLeod, the CAQ government’s Secretariat for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers awarded funding to several organizations, including Agape, over the next three years to improve services for senior citizens through seniors’ wellness centres.

A three-year plan

He said Agape will receive $45,000 in 2021-2022, $45,000 in 2022-2023 and $70,000 for 2023-2024. McLeod said Agape’s hope is to “open up a little centre in the eastern part of Laval” by the third year with help from the new funding.

“Right now, what the government wants us to do is focus on things like health presentations and wellness with seniors,” he added, describing the orientation the ministry appears to be interested in promoting for the time being.

Expansion in year three

He said that by year three, the plan would be for Agape to expand those services to the eastern part of Laval.

“The thing is that this covers a portion of our expenses in expanding,” he continued, noting that the sums won’t necessarily pay all the expansion’s expenses. “But expanding, we’re also able to do it thanks to other pockets of money. Because the new centre is also going to provide larger office space for Agape.”

Regarding the demographics of English-speaking people in eastern Laval, McLeod said, “We do see that there are strong pockets. We know that Chomedey has most of Laval’s English-speaking communities.

Anglos in eastern Laval

“But we do identify pockets here and there. And we’ve identified that maybe Duvernay on the borderline somewhere close to Vimont and Pont-Viau would be a good area to open up a satellite office.”

‘We’ve identified that maybe Duvernay on the borderline somewhere close to Vimont and Pont-Viau would be a good area to open up a satellite office,’ says Agape executive-director Kevin McLeod

McLeod said Agape’s base would continue to be in Chomedey, where the organization’s offices, distribution centre and children’s daycare are currently located in side-by-side storefronts on Notre Dame Blvd. near Curé Labelle Blvd. Agape’s English-speaking Senior Wellness Centre is located less than a block away, also on Notre Dame, just east of Curé Labelle.

“Our main base will always be in Chomedey because that’s where all the English speakers are,” he said. “What we’re looking at is a satellite office and possibly a senior wellness centre office. You know, one of those two. Whether those two will be in the same place we don’t know yet.”

Wellness Centre growing

In addition to these developments, management at Agape has also decided to relocate the Senior Wellness Centre to a larger suite of offices in the same building as where they are currently – 3860 Notre Dame – but on the second storey rather than the third.

According to McLeod, the new locale will be much larger (about 50 per cent of the area on their floor), and will include four offices, a resource room, a conference room, a large common area to stage presentations and activities for seniors, and a kitchen.

Busy with a short move

“We’re in the middle of moving right now, so we’ve temporarily suspended services for around a month,” he said. “But we’re hopeful that by June, seniors will have the opportunity to come and visit the new centre.

“And then after that, all depending where we are with COVID and the variants and public health instructions, we would like to be offering more activities by this summer whether that is online or in person. Who knows. We’re hopeful and keeping our fingers crossed that by September or October, we will be able to see people in person again. But we don’t know with the news changing daily.”

Martin C. Barryhttp://www.lavalnews.ca
Journalist with the Laval News since 2005. During his 24 years covering political and community issues in the Montreal region, Marty has won numerous journalism awards from the Quebec Community Newspapers Association for written coverage as well as for photography. marty@newsfirst.ca

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