The old Royal Victoria Hospital will soon be home to a new emergency shelter to help Montrealers in need during the winter.
Quebec’s regional health authority made the announcement Friday, saying the unit will accommodate up to 80 men and women. It will also a provide space for their pets.
The temporary unit will be open for three months starting Jan. 15, and ending April 15.
“No one is indifferent to this situation, which is just as upsetting as it is worrying,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante in a statement. “It was therefore imperative for us to quickly meet all our partners to find solutions.”
The move comes as a network of Montreal homeless shelters — including the Old Brewery Mission, the Welcome Hall Mission, Maison du Père and Accueil Bonneau — voiced concerns about overcrowding during the winter months.
After a record-breaking cold snap was set in November, many shelters in the city have been struggling to meet demand and they are operating at overcapacity.
“Together we will provide a safe and dignified place for people who are homeless,” said Welcome Hall Mission president Sam Watts in a statement.
— With files from Global’s Brayden Jagger Haines