Homeless situation in Montreal

Roger-Luc Chayer

At the beginning of 2019, we were told that part of the former Royal-Victoria Hospital in Montreal would be turned into a « night shelter » at night for homeless people who could not find a place elsewhere and that, during the cold season. Yeah !!!!!

How’s it yeah? As I read the details of the news, I was deeply shocked by how to treat these people without any resources. As if the homeless need help only when it is -15 and especially not the day. Worse, in this huge complex that was once a university hospital that can accommodate hundreds of patients, here we will make room for only 80 homeless, divided into three groups more or less equal between men, women and those who have animals. The program is scheduled to end on April 15, according to Rosannie Filato, who is responsible for homelessness in the City of Montreal.

For the moment, the City of Montreal is not able to quantify the budget required for this emergency operation, but we were informed at a press conference that partners such as the Old Brewery Mission and Accueil Bonneau will take care of the maintenance of the premises and transport in the morning people who want to have breakfast. It’s all well and good, but it does not solve anything and frankly, we totally miss the reality by considering the homeless only as people who deserve only an emergency plan authorities rather than a real rescue plan, LONG TERM! Because we will never overcome this problem of society with a hot coffee and a bench!

The problem of homelessness in Montreal is as old as the world and it is precisely in the Gay Village of Ville-Marie Borough (Mayor Valérie Plante) that the problem is most visible, with terrible economic consequences for traders. , for landowners and for tourism. If we are here in 2019, it is because all the previous mayors have done nothing to help these people out of their condition. Getting out of homelessness does not require that the will of people living in this situation requires resources, means to allow these people to secure themselves, to find food in a stable way while giving help that can not be otherwise than reassuring.

Take the case of a man who lives in homelessness and wishes to leave this state. He must be able to eat every day, wash himself, stay in the shelter in summer and winter, and be able to restore his health, cut his hair and beard, go to his medical and psycho-social appointments, and I past.

Why do the authorities insist on having a common room in the winter, a meal in the morning and getting everyone out the door at 8 am until 4 pm to do what? Homelessness It would have been so simple to use the Royal Victoria Hospital or any other unused building as a transit center, not to the street once the good weather returned, but to a more normal life. A center where homeless people would be cared for to become women and men of society, with the same opportunities as others. But that requires a little resources and will and we are not there yet!