The Quebec government wants to tackle the problem of homelessness across the province — especially in Montreal.
$11 million is planned to be spent during the next four years to help 225 homeless people find permanent homes.
“As human beings, we’ve got to do something for the other human beings,” Lucie Charlebois, the minister for social services, said at a Tuesday morning press conference.
Most of the funds will be spent in Montreal at the city’s three major overnight shelters.
“It’s a very wise investment because it will make lasting changes to the face of homelessness if they continue these investments,” Matthew Pearce of the Old Brewery Mission told Global News.
Rock, a homeless person who’s using the services of the Old Brewery Mission, hopes some of the money will help him find a fixed address.
“Have an apartment in about two, three months from now,” he told Global News.
The 54-year-old has lost his home and job twice due to heavy drugs.
He’s been free of cocaine and speed for a couple of weeks and he hopes to stay off the drugs.
It’s estimated there are 12,000 homeless people in Montreal during the course of the year.
But most of them are able to help themselves and get off the streets.
The chronically homeless — often those with mental health problems — is estimated around 2,000.
The government’s program is aimed at helping them.
“They’re the people who are targeted for this program,” James McGregor of the Movement to End Homelessness, told Global News.
Advocates to help the homeless say millions of more dollars are needed to fight homelessness but they say the government’s announcement is a step in the right direction.