Dans la Rue

Summary of organization/program

Founded by Father Emmett Johns (Pops) in 1988, Dans la rue is a grassroots, community-based organization that works with street kids and at-risk youth aged 12 to 25.

The Dans la rue team works tirelessly to put Father Johns’ philosophy of help without judgment into action by providing street kids with food, shelter and support through our outreach programs.

We also work to educate young people about the risks and consequences of life on the street through our prevention programs at high schools, youth centres and community centers across the city.

Contact information


 895 de la Gauchetière Street West, Level 90, suite 220, Montréal, QC H3B 5K3

 Telephone: 514.526.5222; Fax: 514.526.5445


Geographic region



youth aged 12-25 years old

History/Background Information

In the early years, Dans la rue developed because of the vision and tireless work of our founder, Father Emmett Johns (Pops). Over the years, more and more people recognized the importance of Pops mission and supported Dans la rue with their time and money. Dans la rue has grown into a multi-disciplinary team of skilled professionals and dedicated volunteers, all to help fulfill Pops’ vision of helping kids survive the streets and get back on their feet.

1988 — Father Emmett Johns buys a used Winnebago with a $10,000 personal loan to get help to the kids where they need it most, on the streets

1989 — Board of directors of Dans la rue formed

1990 — The first motorhome is replaced with a new Winnebago donated by Rotary Club. The motorhome becomes know as “the Van”

1993 — The Bunker, Montreal’s only overnight shelter for underage kids, opens

1995 — The Bunker undergoes renovations

1995 — Dans la rue acquires a truck to help collect donated food and clothing

1995 — The Van is replaced with yet another second-hand motorhome

1997 — The Chez Pops day centre where kids can come to have a hot meal, talk to counselors and take classes is opened

1998 — Thanks to the generosity of Canadian Pacific, the organization is able to purchase a brand new custom-made motorhome (van)

2000 — Gaz Metropolitain generously donates a brand new truck for food and furniture pick up

2001 — The Day Centre needs more space. The Dans la rue administration office moves to a new free location – courtesy of CN

2002 — The Bunker launches a day program for minors

2002 — Opening of Friperie Frip à Froc, a thrift shop run by youths trained and supervised by Dans la rue

2003 — Dans la rue purchases the “Bunker” building from the City of Montreal and proceeds with major renovations

2004 — After the withdrawal of necessary funding, Dans la rue has to close Frip à Froc Dans la rue’s second hand clothing store closes

2005 — Another brand new customized Van for Dans la rue, thanks to the generosity of Convexpert, Ultramar, Le Groupe Jean Coutu, National Bank, RBC Group, Rona, the Taste of the Nation event, and other anonymous donors

2005 — Dans la rue creates the “From the Streets to the Stars” culinary event as a way to get closer to its supporters and publicizeDans la rue’s mission

2008 — Dans la rue turns 20 !

Dominant Media Forms

video production



We also work to educate young people about the risks and consequences of life on the street through our prevention programs at high schools, youth centres and community centers across the city.

Statement of Principles

Le Bon Dieu dans la rue is an organization serving youth living on the streets, and youth at risk. With God’s help and with dedication, with respect and in friendship, we help them develop their autonomy. Working with the community, we support them and provide the help they may need to realize their potential.


Providing Service to Help Youth Survive and Beat the Street
Sometimes a hot dog and a hug are all that stands between coping and complete despair. The street kids we serve desperately need help and Dans la rue is one of the very few organizations that provides this help. From food, shelter and healthcare all the way to accessing higher education, we try to provide services that nourish not only the bodies but also the minds, spirits and dreams of the kids we serve.
Frontline Services
These are the services like the Van, Chez Pops and the Bunker which provide a first point of contact for street kids, providing vital food, shelter and support. [More]
Intervention Programs
Our Intervention Programs focus on helping street kids to get healthy, get clean, identify new goals and pursue their dreams. Over the years we’ve developed a number of programs that enable kids to take that next step. [More]
Basic Services
To help kids make the transition from a precarious life on the streets to a stable and fulfilling life, DLR provides some of the basic necessities that are otherwise inaccessible to homeless kids. 
Prevention Programs
Like helping kids to beat the street, helping kids to keep from ending up on the street is an important component of the work we do at Dans la rue. 

Samples of work

Funding Sources