Montreal homelessness problem goes beyond the downtown core: report

Homelessness across Montreal
WATCH ABOVE: The problem of homelessness isn't just confined to Montreal's downtown core, according to a local group working to tackle the issue, it expands to boroughs like Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, the Sud-Ouest and even the West Island.

MONTREAL – A local group working to tackle homelessness has released a new publication to raise awareness about just how pervasive the issue is in different parts of the city.

The report released by Le Réseau d’aide aux personnes seules et itinérantes de Montréal (RAPSIM), states the problem goes beyond the downtown core.

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Boroughs like Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Plateau-Mont-Royal and the Sud-Ouest are affected, but what might come as a surprise is that it’s also an issue in areas like the West Island.

“Homelessness isn’t just about begging in downtown Montreal,” said Benoit Langevin from Action Jeunesse de l’Ouest-de-l’Ile (AJOI), an organization that works with youth in the West Island.

“It’s also sharing an apartment with 15 youth, it’s also trading sex to have a place for two nights.”

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READ MORE: 5-year plan to end chronic homelessness in Montreal gets a go

Langevin added that the West Island is far from downtown and that 80 per cent of all resources for homelessness are there.

“We do need attention in the West Island as well,” said Langevin.

READ MORE: Montreal teen celebrates 14th birthday handing out supplies to homeless

Anti-homelessness advocates want the Quebec government to allocate more funds to address what they say are the root causes of homelessness.

They insisted issues like affordable housing, access to health care and education are at the heart of the matter and they’d like to see that tackled in next week’s provincial budget.