Pointe-Saint-Charles (also known locally as simply The Point) is a neighbourhood in the South-West borough of Montreal. Settled by numerous Irish immigrants as well as French-Canadians and English, The Point became one of Canada's first industrial neighbourhoods in the early 20th century. In recent years, the make-up of this traditionally working-class neighbourhood has gradually changed with the influx of new residents, including people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Today, Pointe-Saint-Charles has a population of approximately 14,000 residents (1.3 per cent of Montreal’s population), who are ethnically and linguistically diverse.
In the last two decades, a revitalization plan, geared towards stimulating local employment and improving housing, began to revive the neighbourhood. The creation of many new housing units, the recycling of industrial buildings into business incubators, lofts and condos, the 2002 re-opening of the canal as a recreation and tourism area, the improvement of public spaces, and heritage enhancement, have all helped transform the neighbourhood and attract new residents.
This borough has always had a strong tradition of social solidarity. Community groups continue to be pro-active in areas related to the fight against poverty and the improvement of living conditions. These are just some of the examples of the energy and determination demonstrated by local organizations and residents.
Pointe-Saint-Charles is among the most disadvantaged areas in Montreal, and also among those which present the highest need for strong initiatives supporting youth. Canadian statistics show that 47 per cent of children in The Point live in low-income families. Furthermore, 51 per cent of these households are headed by single-parents. In 2009-2010, 17.4 per cent of students in the province of Quebec dropped out of high school without getting a diploma. In Pointe-Saint-Charles, this figure is more than twice as high at 40.9 per cent.
Pathways and the YMCA in Pointe-Saint-Charles
The YMCA has been part of the Pointe-Saint-Charles landscape since 1979. The YMCA in The Point works closely with schools, community associations, the city of Montreal, and numerous local groups and organizations that have long been involved in the vitality of the neighbourhood. The YMCA has provided activities aimed at empowering young people through sports and recreational and educational programs that promote the values of peace and mutual assistance.
In June of 2013, a partnership was formed between the YMCAs of Quebec and Pathways to Education Canada with the goal of implementing its recognized program model. By doing so, Pointe-Saint-Charles has become the third community in Quebec to offer the Pathways Program.
Pathways Pointe-Saint-Charles Host Agency:
The YMCAs of Quebec | Pathways to Education Program location
2325 Centre Street, suite 206, Montreal, QC H3K 1J6
National Manager: George Kalimeris
Pathways Program Director: Katrina Heyde
Catchment Area: Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood, including all postal codes starting with H3K
Area Dropout Rate (pre-Pathways): 40.9 percent (Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports, 2009-2010)
How to Volunteer
The Pathways to Education Program requires skilled and committed volunteers to serve as tutors and mentors. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of an innovative program, that makes a positive difference in the lives of youth and their families. Both one-on-one and group tutoring positions are available and training is provided. Recruitment is ongoing. Join the dedicated team of Pathways volunteers and you will see how your time contribution will make a difference in the lives of Pointe-Saint-Charles youth.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer tutor or group mentor with Pathways Pointe-Saint-Charles, please contact: