Marie-France Coallier Archives Le Devoir A report containing a series of recommendations to combat homelessness roaming will be submitted next September to the members of the CMM executive committee.
The Metropolitan Community of Montreal (CMM) will draft in the coming months a homelessness strategy for all of the 82 municipalities it represents, in response to the rapid increase in the number of homeless people in many cities from the suburbs.
“We are going to tell ourselves the reality, the people we see roaming are no longer just in Montreal. It really affects all the suburbs, both in the north and in the south,” notes the mayor of Mascouche, Guillaume Tremblay. The latter chairs the CMM's housing and social cohesion commission, which received the mandate at the council meeting on Friday morning to draft a metropolitan homelessness strategy.
“These are tents that are put in parks. We are not used to that as suburban towns,” adds Mr. Tremblay. The latest count of people experiencing homelessness in Quebec reveals a 100% increase in the number of homeless people recorded in Montérégie between 2018 and 2022, a percentage which rises to 109% in the Laurentians. In comparison, a growth of nearly 49% in homelessness was noted during this period on the island of Montreal.
“In Mascouche, 10 years ago, never, ever would have thought we would see homelessness in our city. Now, we see it, continues Mr. Tremblay, contacted on the sidelines of the CMM assembly. This is a reality linked to our housing issues. »
A report containing a series of recommendations will be submitted next September to the members of the organization's executive committee, who will have until December 2024 to officially adopt this strategy, the details of which remain to be determined. In the meantime, municipalities will be consulted to share “their good moves” in the fight against homelessness, which could then be applied to the entire greater Montreal region, explains Guillaume Tremblay.
- Thousands of camps dismantled across the country in the face of growing homelessness
- The number of homeless people reached 10,000 last year in Quebec
The CMM also intends to help document the increase in the number of homeless people in different municipalities in the greater Montreal region in order to “refine the portrait” that the last count made it possible to achieve. “We could look [to] carry out more targeted surveys with each of our municipalities to see if they have figures that would help us clarify the data we have for 2022,” indicates CMM research advisor Philippe Rivet.
The organization will use this homelessness strategy as leverage to ask Quebec and Ottawa for additional funds which will be used to tackle the problem.
“The elected officials of the CMM are not burying their heads in the sand, far from it. We know that homelessness is a social problem. At the same time, we must not forget that at the financial level, it is a responsibility that falls to the governments of Quebec and Canada,” notes the mayor of Mascouche, who adds that time is running out, that action must be taken. “When we have 50% of the population of Quebec [in the greater Montreal region], but 65% of homelessness, it shows how much we have to take care of it. »