The city’s one and only drop-in day shelter for homeless women is in desperate need of summer clothing. The demand for basic necessities like food and clothing has drastically increased due to a growing number of asylum seekers.
“It’s a radical change in our clientele — really radical,” Chez Doris’ executive director Marina Boulos-Winton said.
Chez Doris has been serving Montreal’s most vulnerable population for close to 40 years, but the clientele has changed over the past year due to an influx of refugee claimants.
“Last year we started seeing a lot of Haitian women coming from the U.S., now we’re seeing a lot of Nigerians,” Boulos-Winton told Global News.
“The asylum seekers come to Montreal with very little.”
The shelter specifically needs underwear of all sizes, size 10 shoes and bathing suits. It also has an ongoing need for sheets, towels, dishes and small appliances.
Montrealers are already answering the call for help — a few hours after the shelter posted on Facebook that the clothing room was empty, someone dropped off a truckload of 20 bags.
“It’s terrific because now there are actually clothes in the room for people tomorrow,” volunteer Mary Dupuis said.
Chez Doris helps meet the basic needs of about 100 women every day, but lately it’s been struggling to keep up with the increase in demand and some worry it will get worse before it gets better.
“Come the fall we’re going to have a huge need for winter clothes like really big,” Boulos-Winton said.
“These are people who have never seen snow before.”
The shelter is asking people to hold off on donating winter clothing since they have nowhere to store it.
All summer clothing can be dropped off at Chez Doris on Chomedey Street in downtown Montreal between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., seven days a week.