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Politics

Party leaders have forgotten issue of homelessness: Quebec homeless advocates

A homeless man sleeps on a street in Montreal, Sunday, November 18, 2018. .
A homeless man sleeps on a street in Montreal, Sunday, November 18, 2018. . Graham Hughes/ The Canadian Press Images

For the 30th year of La Nuit des sans-abri de Montreal, organizers have chosen to send a message to the federal party leaders.

Organizers of the annual solidarity event say that homelessness has been a forgotten issue during this year’s federal election campaign.

The march, which was held simultaneously in 34 cities across Quebec on Friday, aimed to highlight homelessness as a major issue coast to coast.

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March organizers say they have loud and clear demands for the next elected federal government. Pierre Gaudreau, director of Montreal Network for Single and Homeless Persons, and co-spokesperson for La Nuit des sans-abri de Montreal, said they want to see $50 million for homeless in Quebec and major and reoccurring investments to support the construction of social housing.

Organizers attribute social housing as one of the key means to prevent and reduce homelessness.

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This year’s event saw a change in location as marchers joined forces in the borough of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Organizers say the move was to remind people the problem of homelessness is not just confined to downtown.

People marched to raise awareness about homelessness across Quebec Friday.
People marched to raise awareness about homelessness across Quebec Friday. Global News

The event first started in 1989 when community-based youth homeless organizations gathered to draw attention to the issue of homelessness.

This years theme is “different faces, different stories,” focusing on the fact that homelessness is not just a result of one life path.

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Sylvie Boivin, L’Anonyme managing director and co-spokesperson says “it can affect mothers leaving violent relationships, immigrants, or young people who cannot afford housing.”

“The needs are great and visible homelessness is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Boivin.

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