This Montreal project is helping citizens take the lead on community development

Fighting poverty and social exclusion

Why It Matters

A project in Montreal is flipping the philanthropic model on its head, by enabling community members to be the ultimate decision makers. The Collective Impact Project is helping 17 neighbourhoods in Montreal fight against poverty and social exclusion through a unique model. This article, our seventh in a series with United Way Centraide Canada, highlights the journey and learnings of this collaborative project.

Days after immigrating from Morocco to Canada, Issam Moussaoui was reading the newspaper when he learned about a meeting to discuss social issues in his new community, the Saint-Léonard neighbourhood in Montreal. 

Moussaoui participated in community initiatives in Morocco, and felt that doing the same in Canada would help him plant new roots and learn about his new home. “This is how I choose to be integrated in my society,” he says. 

At the meeting, Moussaoui began to draw parallels between what he was witnessing and the community organizing he was involved with in Morocco. “It’s different in the topics, tools, and manner, but in essence it is the same — how to help the community, to be involved and to know their reality, their future.”

Moussaoui was impressed that every attendee was given an opportunity to voice their opinion about community issu


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