Outreach workers in Montreal's West Island say the area needs its own dedicated shelter to properly serve youth in crisis in their own communities and keep the problem of homelessness in the core from compounding.
While there are no hard and fast numbers gauging the homeless population in the area, workers in the West Island say the problem is real in their communities.
But with no where to turn to outside of downtown, people are forced to make the trek – sometimes on foot – to an unfamiliar area with its own strained resources.
"They grew up on Des Sources, St-Charles, St-Jean, and now they have no point of attachment," Benoit Langevin of West Island Youth Action, an organization that assists homeless youth.
"They start a new life . . . and it's necessarily the right path because they start with nothing. It's like starting over."
Langevin would like to see the project get off the ground as soon as possible.
Pierrefonds' borough mayor, Monique Worth, said it's an idea worth considering, if other levels of government are willing to get involved.
"It might just encourage youth to say. . .'Well at least I've got somewhere else to sleep tonight," she said.
CBC Montreal's Andrew Chang reports in part two of an exclusive series examining homelessness on the West Island.