"I see the center as belonging to them. It is like a family where they are no longer isolated and alone and where we accept them for who they are..."
Yvette Delorme, volunteer
A charitable organization, Chez Doris is a day shelter for women in difficulty which provides social services, educational and practical help in a safe and welcoming environment.
On the morning of November 3, 1974, the body of a young woman was found in a shed near La Gauchetire and St. Urbain. She had been raped and brutally beaten to death with the abandoned wheel of an automobile. Her name was Doris and she was one of a growing number of destitute women in Montreal trying to survive life on the street.
A street woman, lonely and suffering from alcoholism, Doris at times, had to resort to prostitution to survive. Shortly before her death in an interview, when asked what help she felt would most benefit women like her self, Doris answered : "A place to go without prying eyes and too many questions".
After thirty years, Chez Doris continues to be a refuge for women in difficulty. Our commitment to our primary mandate remains our focus. A safe haven, no questions asked is a measure to ensure that the women who may be in the same situation as Doris do not go forgotten. Remembering who Doris was keeps us on the right track. When we keep her in mind as a frame of reference, we ensure that Chez Doris remains wide open to all women in difficulty. Inclusion rather than exclusion is our policy.
Over the years numerous programs, services and daily activities have evolved. The result is a strong organization that responds to the needs of hundreds of women every year.