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Quebec government to fund $600,000 for Montreal Indigenous shelter’s relocation

Click to play video: 'Quebec government to fund $600,000 for Montreal Indigenous shelter’s relocation' Quebec government to fund $600,000 for Montreal Indigenous shelter’s relocation
Resilience Montreal, an Indigenous homeless drop-in shelter near downtown Montreal's Cabot Square, will be given $600,000 from the government to relocate within the next four months. As Olivia O'Malley reports, the shelter's president is worried that the move could leave a void in a community the desperately needs its services – Dec 12, 2020

Resilience Montreal, an Indigenous homeless drop-in centre in downtown Montreal, will be given $600,000 from the government to help with its relocation within the next four months.

The day shelter’s lease at the corner of St. Catherine and Atwater streets next to Cabot Square — an area home to many homeless Indigenous people that is rapidly being gentrified — is up in April.

Minister of Native Affairs Ian Lafrenière announced the $600,000 in funding on Saturday. Lafrenière said the money comes from the Native Initiatives Fund III.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said she hopes the centre’s relocation will not interfere with its service.

Resilience Montreal president Nakuset told Global News the shelter is working day and night to find a place and avoid leaving a service void to the community it serves in the area.

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Nakuset said she wants to avoid what happened when The Open Door shelter shut its doors in the same area two years ago — 14 deaths were reported in the community. Resilience Montreal opened up in the area shortly after.

“[The funding] is just the beginning of it,” said Lafrenière. “This is just confirming our intention to help them out.”

Plante added that the city is hoping for some private funding to help out as well, as $600,000 isn’t enough to purchase space in the downtown zone where the services are needed.

“Ideally we would buy something [and not rent], so [we could] secure services for the long run,” Nakuset said.
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The shelter’s president said its clientele has skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said it is currently serving up to 900 meals to the homeless per day.

–with files from Alessia Maratta, Global News

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