For the Lysettes of the world
The organization Soupe pour elles strives to raise awareness of the struggles facing women like Lysette. For this formerly homeless woman, life has not been easy, but the psychosocial support she receives through La Maison Marguerite has turned things around for her.
A trying journey
“I lived on the streets for two years,” she says. “Because of my drinking and drug problems, I lost my job and eventually ended up homeless. I had a very violent upbringing. My family was dysfunctional. I am also a lesbian, and I’m proud of that now, but I endured a lot of homophobia, especially on my family’s part.” After two years on the street, Lysette began staying in shelters, and that is where she crossed paths with La Maison Marguerite.
Hope at last
Since 2009, Lysette has been receiving psychosocial support from a counsellor at La Maison Marguerite. “At first, I was meeting her every week. Now it’s every two weeks. The work we have done has really changed my life. Having this support network does me so much good. I have a safe and welcoming space where I can express my feelings and share what I’m going through, without judgment and always with unconditional love and acceptance.” As part of her counselling, Lysette actively works on managing her emotions, her relationships and her alcohol addiction. She tries to find healthy strategies for asserting herself, setting boundaries and facing reality. In 2010, she was able to move into a subsidized apartment where the rent is set at 25% of her income, and she has lived there ever since.
The Soupe pour elles event
There are hundreds of women just like Lysette out there. Soupe pour elles is a community movement that assists women like her, who may be dealing with homelessness, abuse or poverty. It is both a fundraising campaign and an event where people from all walks of life gather over a bowl of soup to show support for women in need. The proceeds from Soupe pour elles will go to La Maison Marguerite and eight other Montréal organizations: Le Chaînon, Auberge Madeleine, Maison Marguerite, Maison Passages, Mission Old Brewery Pavillon Patricia MacKenzie, Chez Doris, La rue des femmes, Logis Rose-Virginie et La Dauphinelle.