The very First diagnostics of the needs of vulnerable populations in the Southern region of the West Island
In seeking to build a comprehensive vision of local priorities, the Table de Quartier Sud de l’Ouest-de-l’Île (TQSOI) has conducted a diagnostic needs assessment with ‘vulnerable’ groups in the South of the West Island of Montreal. The final report has now been published.
Over 60 participants expressed their main needs and concerns during focus group discussions which were organized to represent the views of different segments of population: seniors, single-parent families, youth (ages 18 to 24), individuals with physical disabilities, parents of children with special needs, individuals with mental health issues, newly-arrived immigrants, and individuals with mild intellectual deficiencies.
Major insights include the following:
· Seniors reported transportation and limited financial resources constrain and isolate them, and shortages exist in affordable housing.
· Single-parent families lack support for their specific needs, and suffer from difficulties due to financial insecurity, which increasingly strains social and familial relationships.
· Youth emphasized the prohibitive costs of fresh food and decent, sanitary housing. They also face unjustified police action and racism.
· Individuals with physical disabilities face stress due to lacking benefits, and often must depend on others for transportation and food, especially given insufficiencies in volunteers and adapted services.
· Unanimous agreement arose over the pervasive nature of transportation-related issues in the West Island, which can inhibit access to health care and other needed services. The duration of transit time and limited transport network impinge on residents’ quality of life and potential.
· Additionally, all groups suggest information about available resources must be better disseminated. Some vulnerable populations suggested more support groups are needed to break their isolation and share valuable information about needed resources.
The data from this report will be incorporated into a first territorial social development plan. The choice of priorities will occur at a public event this Fall, in which all interested citizens and representatives of community organizations are invited to participate.
To read the full report, please visit the TQSOI website at www.tqsoi.org
TQSOI is a non-profit organization that unites all the citizens and partners representing the community organizations, institutions, the private sector and political representatives whose ultimate common goal is the improvement of the quality of life in the Southern West Island.