According to Fiona Crossing, general director of Accueil Bonneau, in the context of the housing and homelessness crisis in Quebec, “several thousands” of housing units should be built for homeless and vulnerable people.
“The crux of the matter at this point is the construction of housing, period. All types, but mainly social housing, affordable housing, and housing that organizations like Accueil Bonneau will be able to manage. It takes not just hundreds but thousands,” Fiona Crossling asked at a press conference on Monday.
Crossling invited politicians and media to the inauguration of Christine, a building of 114 apartments in the heart of Montreal, intended to house homeless people and people at risk of homelessness, youth leaving the DPJ, refugees, or other vulnerable tenants. Age
To emphasize that the needs are serious, he recalled that the last count conducted in October 2022, which identified 10,000 people experiencing homelessness in Quebec, was only the tip of the iceberg and that projects in the curriculum could not meet the demand.
Lionel Carment, the minister responsible for social services who was present at the inauguration, tried to defend his government’s record in the fight against homelessness. “In the last economic update, 500 places were added to housing for people experiencing homelessness to relieve pressure on shelters and improve living conditions,” he said.
According to Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, 18 projects in Montreal have added 802 housing units for vulnerable people since 2018, and another 15 projects are in progress for a total of 400 additional units.
Of the 114 housing units in the Le Christine building, 30 are currently occupied, 12 tenants have confirmed their arrival, approximately thirty have reserved units, and over 100 files have been opened.
Why is it taking so long to deliver apartments while people in Montreal are sleeping outside right now?
Fiona Crossling says, “Putting files together can take a long time because it’s a whole process of meeting people, understanding their needs, and understanding whether Le Christine meets their needs or whether there are other types of housing that are better for them.”
Read “A new building for the homeless that still has little use.”
Stakeholders are deployed to the new building, primarily to ensure that the integration of tenants goes well and to defuse any disputes. They may also offer help with certain government and legal processes, as well as managing residents’ finances.
We are targeting a mixed but independent clientele. People who need more significant psychosocial intervention are referred to other resources.
Monique Charette, 67, has been happy with her small abode in Kristine since December. Last year, she lost the house she had lived in for 15 years. Without resources, she found herself in a homeless shelter for 24 hours, then a temporary resource for a few months.
“Arriving here was like a rebirth for me,” she says. “I got a taste of life again.” I hope I can stay for a long time.