Marie-France Coallier Le Devoir The sum granted by Quebec must be used to increase the supply of emergency shelters in the metropolis.
Quebec provides funding of nearly $9.7 million to better support people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless in Montreal. This funding will make it possible to add 188 beds in accommodation centers for the winter season.
In the presence of his colleague Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development, Pierre Fitzgibbon, and Mayor Valérie Plante, the Minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant, argued that this amount would make it possible to meet the growing demand for services for the population experiencing homelessness.
In addition to increasing the number of beds available, this amount will be used to support community organizations so that they can offer services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The amount will be managed by the Integrated University Health and Services Center (CISSS) du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal which will redistribute it to organizations ready to add places and offer more hours of service.
The 9.7 million announced Friday are the share that Montreal obtains of the amount of 15.5 million announced last September by Quebec to finance shelter projects in the four corners of the province.
These additional beds do not mean that there will be no emergency accommodation centers during the cold season, however, recognized Valérie Plante. “We will never leave anyone outside,” she assured. “Adding beds or spaces for people experiencing homelessness, which are planned and organized with services, that’s what we want. But depending on the extreme cold – because we always have them – the City of Montreal and our teams are always ready to [offer] emergency shelter. »
Over the coming weeks, 200 supervised housing units will be added to the services already in place, Minister Carmant also underlined. “This will free up places in shelters,” he said.
- The number of homeless reached 10,000 last year in Quebec
- Towards a strategy on homelessness for the greater Montreal region
- From prison to the street, a cycle to break
- Video | Course | When several realities must coexist
As the winter season approaches, the homelessness crisis is not going away. Certain resources in Montreal, including the women's day shelter of the Chez Doris organization, have also had to suspend part of their services due to the labor shortage.
“It’s never enough, but what I liked is that we talked about housing,” said Samuel Watts, president and CEO of the Mission Bon Accueil, present at the minister’s announcement Carmant Friday. “It’s complex because we not only need housing, but also housing for people who are in complex situations. Not only do we need to develop roofs with four walls, but also places with some community support. »
The opposition at City Hall deplores that the announcement of additional services for Montreal was not made sooner. “While the announcement of further investment to consolidate and create new 24/7 places is a step in the right direction, it comes late when the cold weather has already set in. We absolutely must move away from the seasonal and last-minute logic that forces community groups to open resources in the middle of winter,” indicated Benoit Langevin, advisor to Ensemble Montréal and opposition spokesperson on homelessness. “I also hope that the sums announced will be sufficient to develop resources dedicated to the specific needs of all. »