Resources that will help fight the homeless fight and illegal settlements in Montreal, the emergency shelter downtown will be closed later this month. Community organizations fear that they will not be able to change everyone because the number of places available in pandemic shelters is severely limited.
Last October, the Place DuPont Hotel was temporarily converted into a shelter to help the winter-traveling population of the village. This place offers 250 places to sleep every night. Its closure was originally announced for March 31, but was postponed due to a health crisis. Finally, the Bon Aquile Mission, which oversees the shelter, will close on June 30.
James Hughes, general manager of the Old Brewery Mission, condemned the hasty closure. “I know these resources are usually scheduled for the winter, but this year we are facing a catastrophic situation. The pandemic and the housing crisis have caused a lot of homelessness this year and there are far fewer places than usual in our shelters.”
The city of Montreal has confirmed the closure of the shelter as the deal with the hotel owners expires later this month. The administration’s spokeswoman, Melanie Gagne, however, insisted that “services will not be interrupted” on the 1st.Is July. A new temporary accommodation arrangement large enough to accommodate all existing asylum seekers should be announced soon.
The CIUSSS du Center-sud-de-l-de-Montreal and the Ministry of Health and Social Services also reported on this imminent announcement, but it was not possible to know where this new one would be. Center or how many people can be accommodated there. CIUSSS Public Relations Officer Jocelyn Boudralt said the new center would provide “more services” than the current shelter.
“We were only told it would be closed. There were those who said they were going to take us elsewhere, but we can say for sure that there would be no place for all these people,” said Omar Leduk, 61, who has been sleeping in the shelter since last winter. Couldn’t find it. “It’s not really easy when everyone is looking at it at once.”
James Hughes, director of the Old Brewery Mission, believes the pandemic has exacerbated the problem of homelessness in Montreal. Auxiliary resources are struggling to cope with health measures, which explains the appearance of illegal camps in Montreal.
This is a new phenomenon. Previously, we saw camps in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, but Montreal was relatively untouched.
Old Brewery Mission Director James Hughes
Just three days ago, on Monday, June 7, one of these makeshift camps was demolished in the corner of Rue Saint-Hubert and Boulevard de Masonnev. According to reports from the city of Montreal, the camp, a few steps away from the Place DuPont shelter, is the third in less than a year after Notre-Dame Street and the wooded Steinberg. Residents of the camp were warned ten days in advance of their evacuation, and the City said it had made resources available to the deportees to help find a place to sleep.
For James Hughes, the appearance of the camps was a consequence of the lack of places in the shelters due to health measures and the increasing number of homeless. “In normal times, when people receive their social assistance check, most places are available to us at the beginning of each month. This year, we only take four or five days to run out of space. ”
An analysis not shared by the Ministry of Health and Social Services Tap. “Contrary to what you say, the shelters are not full and there is still room,” said Minister Lionel Garment Press Secretary Sarah Bigras.