Our History

Le Chainon, an organization forged in the woven determination of solidarity

The founder, Yvonne Maisonneuve, put her determination in the service of a cause she thought was just and important, that of helping women in difficult situations. Subsequently, faithful collaborators come to lend a hand and join the work of Yvonne Maisonneuve on a volunteer basis. These urban missionaries forged the foundations of Le Chainon, now the main shelter for women in difficult situations in Quebec. For eighty-five years, people of heart have contributed to its development.

Learn more about Yvonne Maisonneuve's story (pdf).

1932
Yvonne Maisonneuve opens her first foster home for girls on Fairmount Street in Montreal.

1940
Moving to 101 de la Gauchetière Street.

1946
Addition of a service to welcome mothers with children, a service which will be offered for thirty-three years.

1947
Establishment of a service to welcome girls which will operate for twenty years.

1950
The Institut Notre-Dame de la Protection is structured as an association whose members who work as urban missionaries will be called "associates".

1971
Yvon Deschamps becomes spokesperson. He will talk about the Chainon for 30 years.

1974
Expropriation forces the temporary closure of the house.

1975
Settling on Avenue Esplanade in a building loaned by the Priests of Saint-Sulpice. Employees and volunteers are starting to join the ranks.

1978
Adoption of the name Association d’entraide Le Chainon.

1979
All housing services are now dedicated to single women.

1980
Yvonne Maisonneuve perishes on Christmas day.

1984
Reorganization of the service and addition of places for longer stays.

1987
Redevelopment of housing units and opening of Stay-for-the-Night service with 12 places and four emergency places.

1993
Opening of the first Maison Yvonne-Maisonneuve offering 14 places to older women who have previously stayed at Le Chainon.

2000
A fire results in the total loss of Le Chainon's store Le Coffre aux trésors which reopens on September 13 at its current location, boulevard Saint-Laurent.

2003
Inauguration of the new Maison Yvonne-Maisonneuve better adapted to the needs of the residents.

2011
Thanks to a major fundraising campaign, Le Chainon becomes the owner of the building it has occupied for 36 years.

2013
Celebrating the 80th anniversary of Le Chainon, which has become the main lodging resource for women in difficult situations in Quebec. The promotional campaign Maillon à maillon of Le Chainon is widely publicized.

2014
Establishment of Le Chainon Foundation dedicated exclusively to financially supporting Le Chainon

2015
The main house has a new look after an impressive upgrade project.

2017
Inauguration of Yvonne-Maisonneuve Park.

2018
Le Chaînon is 85 years old.

2019
Le Chaînon celebrates its 86th birthday.