MONTRÉAL, April 25, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The first component of I Count Mtl 2018, the count of Montréal's visibly homeless population, took place last night. Close to 700 volunteers walked the city's streets and visited shelters and transition housing units to meet homeless people and ask them to fill out a short questionnaire. Montréal's count will continue on April 25 and 26.
Yesterday's operation was carried out in 12 boroughs, covering 200 different sectors, starting from six deployment centers. Having received training to carry out this project, volunteers gathered in teams of 3 to 6, and not only walked the streets, but also visited parks, all metro stations, some of Montréal's underground areas, as well as the main shelters and various transition housing units.
"I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who went out to meet with homeless Montrealers in several boroughs. The data collected will allow us to trace a clearer portrait of Montréal's homeless population and to focus our efforts on documenting the evolution of this complex phenomenon, in order to provide better assistance to this portion of our population. This important field action, organized in collaboration with our partners, will also allow volunteers to get to know the stories of these vulnerable men and women and all their efforts to overcome homelessness with dignity", said Valérie Plante, mayor of Montréal.
"The face of homelessness has evolved significantly over the years. Counting the visibly homeless population allows us not only to get to meet these people, but to gain a better understanding in order to document all the intricacies that will ultimately allow us to provide more adequate services. In our role as the regional intersectoral coordinators of actions against homelessness, this count is also of utmost importance in order to mobilize our partners", said Sonia Bélanger, CEO of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.
The multiple faces of homelessness
Homelessness does not discriminate. This year, particular focus is placed on three less visible target groups: women, youth and Indigenous people, in order to better document their reality.
During the night of April 24, volunteers set out to speak to every person they would cross paths with, avoiding the presumption that some seemed more likely than others to be homeless. Selection questions aimed to identify those persons who do not have a fixed address.
"The methodology applied in Montréal, in 2018 is similar to the one from 2015, though it did undergo several improvements. We aim to obtain a more precise and complete estimate of the number of people who spent that night outdoors. It will be interesting to see the differences between the 2015 and the 2018 results, namely in terms of the impact of our collective efforts to help the chronically homeless population", added Dr. Eric Latimer, director of I Count Mtl 2018.
Some sixty communities across Canada, eleven of which are in Québec, have carried out this point-in-time count on their territory between early March, and the end of April 2018.
The operation is ongoing
On April 25 and 26, volunteers will be visiting some fifty day centers and other resources, in order to ask people who frequent those locations where they have spent the night of April 24, and to have them fill out the questionnaire. In other resources, namely in transition housing units, case workers will have the forms filled out by mid-May. More than 140 community organizations will take part in the process.
Moreover, in an effort to complete the data collection, Montréal's hospitals and alcohol addiction and detox treatment centers will provide data concerning the number of people without a fixed address who have spent the night of April 24 in their facilities.
Following the actions of April 24, 25 and 26, the Douglas Hospital Research Centre team will compile all the collected data and prepare an analysis report.
About I Count Mtl 2018
The Ville de Montréal and the CIUSSS-du-Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal have mandated the Douglas Hospital Research Centre, affiliated with the CIUSSS-de-l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal and McGill Univeristy, in close collaboration with the Movement to End Homelessness in Montréal (MMFIM), to carry out I Count Mtl 2018. This second count in our city is part of the city's Action Plan on Homelessness, the Intersectoral Action Plan on Homelessness in the Montreal Region, 2015-2020, and the preparation of a second province-wide survey on homelessness.
Web site: https://icountmtl2018.ca/about/ | Page Facebook : facebook.com/jecomptemtl
SOURCE Ville de Montréal
For further information: Sources: Geneviève Jutras, attachée de presse de la mairesse, Cabinet de la mairesse et du comité exécutif, Ville de Montréal, 514 243-1268; Justin Meloche, Affaires publiques, CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, 514 723-8809; Diep Truong, relations médias, Je compte MTL 2018, 514 524-7348; Information: Linda Boutin, relationniste, Service des communications, Ville de Montréal, 514 872-6013; Justin Meloche, Affaires publiques, CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, 514 723-8809; Diep Truong, relations médias, Je compte MTL 2018, 514 524-7348