Chez Doris, a women’s shelter in Montreal, is in desperate need of leggings and underwear donations.
“We don’t have a laundry service so homeless women tend to throw away their clothes,” said Marina Boulos-Winton, Chez Doris’ executive director.
“We’re the only resource in downtown Montreal that offers clothing to women who drop by.”
The organization notes the move of the Open Door shelter has created a lack of resources and the impact on homeless women is being greatly felt.
WATCH: Chez Doris still needs more clothing donations
Since then, Boulos-Winton notes there has been a 20 per cent increase in visits and a 50 per cent increase in requests for emergency clothing from women at the shelter, many of whom are Inuit.
“We normally have large bins of items, but underwear and leggings have been completely depleted,” she said.
“We do need bras, too, from 34 to 36C.”
Boulos-Winton says the shelter is discussing whether it could add a laundry service to its offerings. Right now, it only has one washer and dryer to clean linens.
“It’s something we would consider, but we would have to see how much extra it would be,” she said.
“We would probably have to give someone extra hours, which is not the work of a caseworker, at a laundromat across the street.”
WATCH: Chez Doris celebrates end of renovations with open house
The increase in need for clothing comes from a high volume of people coming from northern parts of the province to the urban cities in the summer.
“They tend to live outside because their lives aren’t going to be in any danger because it’s not as cold,” Boulos-Winton said, adding that they will often stay even once the temperatures dip.
Chez Doris is also currently looking for donations of jeans, sweaters, shoes and raincoats. Starting in October, she says the shelter will also need winter jackets and boots.
WATCH: Chez Doris women’s shelter needs help
The organization is hoping to create an emergency shelter by December 2020 or early 2021.
“But it takes a lot of financial resources,” Boulos-Winton said. “To add a shelter can add as much as $1 million extra to the operating budget.”
Donations can be dropped off seven days a week between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at 1430 Chomedey St., H3H 2A7.
Chez Doris is a non-profit organization that offers daytime shelter to women in need, seven days a week.