Shelters Anxious for Relief in Provincial Budget

The three major shelters are waiting...

MONTREAL, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Last night a dozen or so men slept on camp cots in the cafeteria of Old Brewery Mission. There are 567 beds available for homeless men in Montreal, spread throughout Welcome Hall Mission, Maison du Père and the Old Brewery Mission and each night there are an additional 20 or 30 men who need to be accommodated in hallways and meeting rooms in make shift arrangements.

"It's not always easy to do but we will refuse no one who comes to our doors seeking shelter," says Old Brewery Mission Director General, Matthew Pearce. "We will not leave anyone without a safe, clean and decent place to sleep tonight if we can."

The costs of emergency food, shelter, clothing, hygiene and security services for homeless men in Montreal works out to about $54 per bed per night. The Quebec government responsible for health and social welfare provides between $8 and $12 per bed - or between 14 and 22% of the actual costs. For several years now, the three men's shelters have been waiting for Quebec to meet its commitment to increase funding and provide 50% of the cost of emergency services. "The province has a moral and ethical obligation to decisively support the measures which prevent people for needing to sleep on streets... and we are it." says Pearce.

"We were hugely relieved when Minister Thériault unveiled her government's Action Plan on homelessness last December and included a promise to resolve the funding shortfall for men's shelters in Montreal, "says Cyril Morgan, Director General of the Welcome Hall Mission. Madame Lise Thériault is the Minister for Social Services responsible for homelessness. "We are the only shelter resources available to homeless men in Montreal and if we cannot afford to meet the growing demand, there is no other option in the city."

Maison du Père Director General, France Desjardins declares, "The fact that there are Quebec citizens who find themselves, for whatever reason, with no option but living on the street is unacceptable and constitutes a challenge to our staff and volunteers, to our society, and to our government to come to their aid by supporting the shelters adequately." All three shelters are waiting anxiously to learn how the Minister intends to fulfill her promise in the provincial budget.

SOURCE Old Brewery Mission

For further information: For further information: Marie-Andrée Gravel, (514) 893-2541, magravel@oldbrewerymission.ca


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