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Face to face wants you

Since she retired from her teaching job in 1996, Sylvia Haltrecht donates four hours weekly to Face to Face, a listening and referral organization serving Montrealers since 1982.

“It’s similar to Tel Aide but does many more things,” Haltrecht says. “The clientele ranges from 17 right up into the senior category. We have people who come to us with loneliness issues or other needs. Sometimes people call in and just need someone to listen to and perhaps help them set some goals to get through. We also help people find low income housing.”

Services offered by the drop-in health and social service community center include listening and referral, whether a client is experiencing personal or practical difficulties. The centre advocates for people on welfare and the homeless, helps find affordable housing and has computers a telephone and fax to help those searching for accommodations. It also offers an 8-week counseling service if needed and a Café Rencontre, a discussion/support group that offers opportunities to socialize, thus combating loneliness.

Volunteers, in particular seniors, are needed. Volunteers receive training and support while they are working.

“I felt I had a certain amount of empathy, understanding and an interest in people who were having problems,” says Sylvia, explaining why she felt volunteering with Face to Face was right for her. “I’m a good listener, non-judgmental and am prepared to spend the time [with the clients.] That being said, I also get a great deal out of it. I have this wonderful sense of gratification, that I have done my little bit to be helpful to people who are in need.”

Face to Face may be reached at 514-934-4546



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