At Elizabeth House we care about the future
Elizabeth House is a rehabilitation centre that offers a continuum of intervention and support services to families with children aged 0-5 years. We work primarily with young mothers and mothers-to-be who are experiencing serious difficulties adjusting to pregnancy or their role as parents. The approach to treatment is educational and therapeutic, focusing on the needs, and building upon the strengths, of the individual.
Services are provided to mothers and families through residential and external programs. Interventions focus mainly on the acquisition of parenting skills and life skills.
Founded in 1968, Elizabeth House has helped over 5000 young families through its residential and external programs. Services are designed to serve the English-speaking community in Quebec, and are generally offered in the greater Montreal area.
Helping young families since 1968
We helped over 5000 young families
A close collaboration with the foundation
Elizabeth House works in close collaboration with the Elizabeth House Foundation, a registered charity, founded in 1998 to support the work of Elizabeth House. The Elizabeth House Foundation helps some of the most vulnerable families in our community grow stronger.
Our mission is to support pregnant women, mothers and fathers in difficulty. We do this by raising funds for Elizabeth House. We are dedicated to the education, health and well-being of women and children, as well as building strong families.
Though Elizabeth House core funding comes from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, we depend on donations to be able to provide a full range of services and programs, help our clients develop their full potential, and successfully integrate into the community.
Our clients present with varied and complex needs. Some require the services of Elizabeth House to help them transition into parenthood due to their young age and limited independent life skills, while others experience a difficult transition due to personal limitations caused by an intellectual disability or mental health condition. Instability with respect to housing, financial problems, inadequate support networks, abuse and/or exploitation, conjugal violence and addiction are other factors leading to vulnerability, which clients commonly experience. Besides, the experience of immigration can also result in social isolation and poor adaptation to parenting.
“There is a wondrous curiosity in every young mother. It is a strange miracle to see, to hold a living being formed in and coming out of one’s self.”
- Simone de Beauvoir
When I was in my teens, the staff at Elizabeth house help me more then anyone will ever know, I wish I could thank the staff that was there at the time (1977 - 1978) at that time it was a home for pregnant teens and unwed mothers. Yes, I lived there for about a year while I was trying to get my life in order, Thank you Elizabeth House.”
- Evelyn Robinson
I went to the Elizabeth House in the 90s. Going to school there was such a great experience. I am grateful to them always.
- Erica Edwards
I came to Elizabeth House when I was 14 years old and pregnant with my first child. I came here to finish my grade 8, and I got so much more. I made some friends that I will have for life. When I became pregnant with my son, I moved into Elizabeth House with my daughter. I learned that life is not easy and you have to work for what you want. I also realized that it is OK to be wrong sometimes, and it is OK if you don’t know the answers. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of Elizabeth House then and their support now. I will be forever thankful to the staff at Elizabeth House.
I thought about writing a Thank You card, but I thought that a letter would better express my sincere appreciation to you all.
When I began the program at EH, I was problematic and had to deal with so many troublesome personal issues. My son was not my first priority, and all I wanted to do was regain custody so that Ethan’s father would look like the bad guy.
During my time at EH, I learned so many valuable lessons that I will carry with me through life. The most important thing I learned, and the one I am most thankful for, is that I learned to not only love my son all over again, but for the very first time very, I love myself. There is really no way for met say thank you, but when I am a successful businesswoman, and Ethan is a straight-A student, I’ll visit and you’ll be able to see for yourself just how important you all really are.
I seem to recall I started working at Elizabeth House in February 1994.
I love working at E.H. as no two days are the same. I love the work as it constantly challenges me. Even though the work is not easy, I feel it’s vital because I know that many of our moms have the potential to build full and happy lives.
I feel I am here to help individuals regain a sense of self and belief of belonging. It is also about letting people know that I will stand by them for the small wins and the big wins. I will be there every step of the way. I proudly tell our individuals that E.H. is a “safe haven” for when they feel lost. It is a place of “restoration”. I feel most often our moms have the potential to parent.
There are few tangible rewards to working at E.H. However, I feel when a mom comes to me to say she cannot parent right now, I praise her for being so brave and being able to admit that. And for prioritizing the needs of her child over her own needs – very rewarding to me.
Also, I remember helping a mom write her letter of intent to go to Dawson College. When she received a response, she came running into the office in tears as she had been accepted. I was so proud of her.
On the other hand, some parents are not able to parent, and they are discharged without their children. I find this the most difficult part of my job. I can’t help but reflect on my behaviour and question if I did everything I could have done.
However, over the years, I have seen firsthand how my work at E.H. transforms lives. By scattering a few seeds, our individual’s time of renewal begins.
- Spike Coles - A staff with 30 years of service at Elizabeth House
I came to live at EH in January of 1981. I was just 16 years old at the time and was placed there by Youth Protection. I had made the choice to get pregnant. This was my " life jacket", as I saw it then and now.
I was blessed, the workers and staff at EH were excellent. The lady who prepared meals realized I was a little picky, and so she did not want my baby to be undernourished, she would buy nuts for me and make stuff I liked.
I was privileged to attend school downstairs. I actually went into Labour writing an exam. My son was born on June 1st, 1981.
His Dad was well liked by the staff, who gave him little handyman work to do around the house. For example, to paint the front deck. Without EH, I would have been on the streets, sleeping on park benches. EH was my Blessing. A place where I was safe, felt loved, and knew that my baby would be healthy.
Today my son Eddie is a Missionary living in Belize. I had two other children after that. I am a grandma of five.
I presently work as a Préposé. Found my calling late in life.
- Dianne Plaza
My experience at Elizabeth House was amazing. I went there when I was 4 months pregnant, and the staff was very careful and lovely. They gave me a lot of attention and took care of me and my pregnancy. Before coming to Elizabeth House, I had nowhere to go, and I was not eating well.
During my stay there, they helped me with my diet problem as I had developed diabetes due to my poor eating habits. The staff helped me with my nutrition, and I started eating healthy again.
Elizabeth House helps moms with their babies in a respectful way, and you will learn other things like budgeting, renting an apartment, and a lot of good programs. Elizabeth House can improve their curfew, and when pregnant moms are craving, let them order out even if it is late.
If you are selected to stay at Elizabeth House, you are very lucky to be there. I would personally recommend moms to go there because it’s a great place that offers a lot of services and will give them the knowledge that will help them in raising their children.
You won’t regret it!
My mom was a pregnant fourteen-year-old who desperately needed a safe space where she could get ready for motherhood. I am so grateful that the Elizabeth house was able to provide that safe space and security for her. My parents really enjoyed the couples' prenatal classes the Elizabeth House provided for them. My mother often mentioned to my father how much she loved the other young mothers and staff, who were all so kind. She found comfort making friends with the young women there who were all in similar situations, it helped ease her anxiety and loneliness.
- Jessica - Daughter of a former client
Volunteering at Elizabeth House has been an incredible experience. I am proud to be part of a community of hope, resilience, and determination. My experience with the residents has only furthered my aspirations in social work to empower women. The connections I have made have been invaluable and meaningful. These women have truly been inspirational.
- Maria - A volunteer
My Experiences at Elizabeth House for almost 34 years
More than three decades ago, I came and applied for the position of cook and residential aide and started a journey of many experiences that until now I am still enjoying.
I started working as a full-time cook and residential aide with around six clients; some had babies that I also supported with babysitting. I prepared dinner, and on special occasions, I did some lunches and dinners for meetings like Board meetings, Users Committee, etc.
My other responsibilities have included doing groceries and food inventories, teaching clients how to cook and make food for their babies, and teaching food handling and preservation.
After working for about five years at Elizabeth House, I was transferred to Elizabeth High School to work in the daycare while the moms went to school. I used this opportunity to improve my skill in attending to babies between 3 months to a year, and with the help of several volunteers, the daycare ran smoothly. After working there for four years, I was brought back to the residential program as a full-time cook, and since I knew some of the clients, it was an easy transition for me while building relationships with new clients.
Over the years, what I have enjoyed the most is how clients interact and consider me a close friend while also making sure they understand their limits. Sometimes I have arguments with them, but they are always resolved by the end of the day. My experiences with clients have been a learning process, and I do not take that for granted.
I am lucky to have worked with six Executive Directors who have been supportive, and I can only say it has been a pleasure working with them, including Anitra, who completes the “whole package.” I am pleased to say that I have had a good experience with the staff and clients, and I consider Elizabeth House my second home. Through my work and interactions, I have built my self-confidence and am truly grateful to work for this organization.
- Remy- A staff
First and foremost, I would like to say I truly appreciate the services that the family assistance offered to me over the years.
I have had family assistance in my life since 2018 to now. I can honestly say that everyone I worked with has really delivered and come through for me, even when I was one of the most difficult clients to work alongside over the years.
In the most difficult times in my life, I always had someone to help me through the darkness until I was able to see the light again. Not everyone has this privilege, and for that, I’m really grateful. Their Loyalty and devotion mean so much to me because when they had every opportunity to leave, they held on and pushed me to be better. They saw my future when I was distracted and couldn’t see it myself. Looking back now, I feel like I was a baby now learning to walk, and FA was the parent holding my hand. That will forever be in my heart.
On behalf of my son and I, I just want to thank you for your loyalty, help, provision, and service given to us. I know for a fact I would not be where I am without you. To us, you are more than just “assistance”, you are truly family, and we hope to work with you until we no longer need you. Thank you!
- Aaliya Hassan
Elizabeth House welcomed me when I was being released from jail, 7 months pregnant, nowhere safe to go, and in need of structure to secure my release before giving birth. It was a hard sell at first because they hadn't had this specific clientele in the past (I was 22 at the time and incarcerated at Maison Tanguay - 1989), but they believed in me and gave me a chance. Without Elizabeth House, my reintegration would've been that much harder, and I might not have lived through that horrid situation. The support, encouragement, and feeling of community were important factors for my safety and well-being and, by extension, that of my children. It was the springboard to full reintegration and independence, and I will always be grateful for my time there. Funnily enough, my own daughter also went to Elizabeth House for a short period when she was pregnant with my first grandchild. If I would recommend Elizabeth House to my own daughter, you know I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling during their pregnancy and needs a soft landing before the real work begins after the birth of their child.
- Liane berry - Former Resident
We deliver services with a unique mission of changing futures by working together supporting young families facing challenges in parenting, building on strengths and offering opportunities for growth and learning. Moreover, as an organization, Elizabeth House maintains core values in the areas of care, respect, collaboration, inclusion and growth.
Changing futures by working together, supporting young families facing challenges in parenting, building on strengths and offering opportunities for growth and learning.
Care, Respect, Collaboration, Inclusion and Growth.
Children who are safe, secured and loved; parents who are supported and empowered, so families can have the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
We are committed to service through a continuum of interventions offered by our team which constitutes members with broad experiences and a dedication to creating remarkable outcomes for our clients.
Anitra Bostock - Executive Director
Tina Pallotta - Specialist in Clinical Activities
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Retired assistant executive director of Batshaw Youth and Family Centres with experience working and living in Nunavik
Retired manager in health and social service
Senior Manager Forensic Accounting and Financial Advisory Services, BDO Canada
Member ex officio
Executive Director at Elizabeth House
MA, Pedagogical Counsellor Accreditation & Evaluation, Dawson College
Semi-retired communications specialist in institutional/educational communications and in the corporate sectors
Director of Human Resources, Shriners Hospitals for Children® – Canada
Director, Legal Affairs - Corporate & International Sector, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Our Foundation Partners
Retail Executive. Partner, ReTell Consulting
Senior Manager Forensic Accounting and Financial Advisory Services, BDO Canada
Member ex officio
Executive Director at Elizabeth House
Manager of In-flight Services Cabin Crew, Air Canada
Associate at Egon Zehnder
Director, Orchard House Preschool
Assistant Director of Financial Resources at the English Montreal School Board
Tania Cristina Ramirez Valiente
Manager, Business Compliance / Auditor
Elizabeth House has been helping pregnant women and families since 1968. It was originally established by several churches, in response to the needs of pregnant teens and young women who planned to give their baby up for adoption shortly after birth and return to live in relatively stable and secure home environments.
The 1970’s saw the beginning of the reorganization and integration of health and social services. Elizabeth House was included in these reforms and the oversight of its governance passed from the churches to the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Most of the young women who come to Elizabeth House today have already decided that they want to parent their child. They are loving parents who are struggling to balance the responsibilities of parenthood with their needs as adolescents or young adults. Elizabeth House continues to provide a caring supportive environment where they can learn the skills they need to grow and succeed as parents and as individuals.
Make a donation
By making a donation to the Elizabeth House Foundation, a registered charity, you can help us provide the full range of services that young families need to succeed.Make a donation
While Elizabeth House relies on monetary and material donations from the public to supplement programs, volunteers are also greatly valued by our clients and staff, as an important part of our organization.Get involved