The many faces of homelessness
Montréal mayor Valérie Plante unveiled the city’s 2018–2020 plan to fight homelessness. Plante was accompanied by Rosannie Filato, the executive committee member responsible for social and community development, homelessness, women’s issues, youth and sports, and by representatives from the government, institutions, the private sector, community groups, municipalities and boroughs. The plan adopted today during the executive council’s weekly meeting is the result of a consultation with partners and around 100 homeless people.
Entitled Parce que la rue a différents visages, the global approach outlined in Montréal’s new homelessness action plan is ambitious. Based on a continuum of resources, it is designed to meet the basic needs of homeless people and people at risk of being homeless.
“We have an ambitious plan that will allow us to focus our efforts to reach and provide help to all homeless individuals, according to their various life trajectories. I hope that by working closely with our partners and the boroughs, and consulting homeless people regularly, we will improve the living conditions and well-being of these very vulnerable citizens,” said the mayor.
Echoes of the consultation
The new three-year $7.8-million plan takes into account suggestions put forward during consultations with dozens of partners, municipalities and boroughs, many community groups, as well as about 100 homeless people. The plan’s 40 actions are focused around four themes, including helping homeless people integrate better in public spaces, providing emergency shelters, day shelters, housing or social and professional integration services.
The themes are as follows
- Support and share public space by fostering customized social intervention approaches in the city, boroughs and outskirts
- Enhance individuals’ sense of security and stability to ensure more homeless people use these services, especially women, indigenous people, people with severe substance abuse problems or mental disorders, and other individuals with specific needs
- Provide housing to help people get off the street and prevent homelessness, by building about 950 social and community housing units and around 100 rooms over 4 years, while developing approaches geared toward people who are chronically homeless
- Work together toward social inclusion by encouraging social and professional integration projects
The actions will take into account emerging issues, which requires constantly reading the situation of homelessness in Montréal. Consequently, responses will be better adapted to needs, thanks to the essential collaboration of public and community partners. The visible aspects of homelessness as well as the hidden homeless—mostly women and young people—are targeted.
The “Montréal Reflex” clause adopted in 2017 grants new powers and responsibilities to the City of Montréal, recognized as the province’s metropolis. The law stipulates that a governance office be set up, which would allow Mayor Plante and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to share a common vision of the city’s needs in terms of support for homeless people.
“Helping people transition out of homelessness as well as preventing the latter is central to our city’s social development. By adopting a new plan to fight homelessness, the city administration is showing leadership as it seeks to take coherent and inclusive action in collaboration with its partners. Together we can find solutions to this complex social issue,” said Rosannie Filato.
Montréal’s 2018–2020 plan to fight homelessness is part of “Montréal de tous les possibles!”, the city’s social development policy unveiled in June 2017.
The action plan and the policy can be accessed on the City of Montréal’s Website: ville.montreal.qc.ca/diversite