Extension of service points for the homeless - Business, social, medical and cultural communities join forces to fight homelessness at five metro stations

MONTREAL, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Société de développement social de Ville-Marie (SDSVM), in partnership with the STM, the Fondation Armand J. A. Bombardier, the Makivik Corporation and the Government of Quebec, is proud to announce the expansion of the first service point for the homeless to five downtown metro stations for a three-year period.

The announcement was made in the presence of Diane De Courcy, Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities and Minister Responsible for the French-language Charter, and Denis Coderre, Montreal's mayor. Also presented were the positive results of Phase 1, launched in December 2012, which led to the extension of this service, demonstrating once again that it is important to continue efforts to create the social cohesion needed to deal with problems of homelessness.

"This was a promising project that, after only one year, helped improve living conditions for numerous Montrealers whose lives are marked by extreme distress," explained Ms. De Courcy. It was important for our government to acknowledge the extension of this project, essential for the continued fight against homelessness, by taking action on the ground against all forms of social isolation," she added.

"The fight against social exclusion and homelessness is a key concern for our administration. Expanding the service points for the homeless will bolster the support provided to people living on the street. The Ville de Montréal, through the borough of Ville-Marie and the STM, is especially proud to contribute to this exemplary social mediation partnership," said Montreal's mayor, Denis Coderre.

Following a very successful first year, the SDSVM is pleased to be able to rely on support from the government and its two ministries, in addition to the three-year prolongation of its partnership with the STM.

"When we launched the first phase, we expressed our desire to see the project extended to other metro stations. This has now been done, and the SDSVM is now providing specialized resources and services for homeless people at five stations. Homelessness is a complex issue in large cities that concerns us all. This is why the STM is committed to continuing this partnership for three more years. In collaboration with the SPVM's metro unit, our Safety and Control team, will continue supporting the outreach workers," explained Philippe Schnobb, chair of the board of Société de transport de Montréal.

"Makivik applauds the SDSVM's announcement to extend the essential care and services provided to the homeless. Homelessness among Inuit living in the city is one of the serious consequences of the housing crisis in Nunavik and one that calls for immediate special attention. Makivik is proud to work its partners, including SDSVM and the Ville de Montréal, in the search for innovative solutions aimed at helping Inuit who are experiencing difficulties or who are homeless. We plan to continue implementing the strategy aimed at preventing Inuit homelessness in Montreal," said Jobie Tukkiapik, Makivik's president (represented by Andy Moorhouse at the conference).

"What makes Médecins du Monde a unique humanitarian organization is that in addition to our international activities, we have been providing free healthcare on Montreal's streets for more than 15 years, in cooperation with some 45 community groups that fight homelessness. By working with us, the SDSVM has enabled us to increase our service offering so we can reach out to as many marginalized people as possible," added Dr. Nicolas Bergeron, with Médecins du Monde.

About the Société de développement social de Ville-Marie
The SDSVM's financial partners for this project are the STM, the Fondation Armand J. A. Bombardier, Makivik Corporation, the borough of Ville-Marie, Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities, Ministry of Health and Social Services, NATIONAL, Eidos Montréal, McKesson Canada as well as a private donation.

SOURCE: Société de développement social de Ville-Marie

For further information:

Robert Beaudry
Project director, Société de développement social de Ville-Marie
Cell: 514-503-4073
info@sdsvm.ca

Anne-Sophie Laframboise
514-843-2063
alaframboise@national.ca

Amélie Forcier
514-843-2307
aforcier@national.ca

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Société de développement social de Ville-Marie

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