The YMCA helped me feel strong and confident again!

Keven Duchesneau

After making a series of poor choices early on in his life, Keven became involved with drugs, street gangs and organized crime. On the eve of his 36th birthday and with his first child on the way, Keven realized he was not the man he wanted to be after seeing one of his former victims.

This is how Keven ended up at the Downtown YMCA where Jonathan, his Community Surveillance Officer at the Espadrille Day Centre1, provided him with training and support to reintegrate into society. Next up was Elizabeth, a Professional Development Advisor with the La Boussole2 program, who provided Keven with all the resources he needed to successfully return to the workforce. “The staff members here work really hard to try to help you!” says Keven.

Today, Keven has rebuilt a social network and has a job he enjoys. How does he feel about the future? “I’m hopeful that things will continue to improve. But if ever I feel like things are falling apart, I know I can always come back to the Y.”

  1. The Espadrille Day Centre fosters the social reintegration of people with criminal records.
  2. La Boussole offers specialized employment services for people with criminal records.

Our impact


homeless, marginalized or at-risk people received support to regain control of their lives and find their place in society.


offenders or people with outstanding fines participated in our alternative justice programs.

14 000

people participated in our community development and international solidarity programs.