More emergency shelters coming to Montreal in ongoing effort to house city's homeless
About 200 new beds added to network as officials work toward long-term housing solutions
The Quebec government is adding a few hundred beds to the ongoing effort to provide shelter to the thousands of homeless people living in Montreal.
Starting July 1, the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal will have 100 places available and, as the site develops in the coming weeks, it may be able accommodate as many as 200 people, offering them a range of health and social services, according to the Ministry of Health.
"The needs are glaring and we must offer safe and suitable places," said Quebec's junior health minister, Lionel Carmant, on Twitter Friday.
The Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal was the first hospital established in Montreal. Located on St-Urbain Street, it is no longer a hospital, but it is still home to outpatient clinics and administrative offices for Montreal's French-language superhospital (CHUM).
It became one of several specialized clinics in Quebec treating COVID-19 patients, according to the Ministry of Health.
Work is also underway to offer 100 places at the Auberge Royal Versailles over the next few months. The hotel is located in the city's east end on Sherbrooke Street, across from the Radisson Metro station.
Through the hotel's website, it is still possible to reserve rooms several months in advance. A spokesperson for Caramant told CBC News that the emergency shelter will be temporary.
Other places could be added as needed, the ministry says in a statement.
The statement said these new measures are aimed at meeting the "essential needs" of Montreal's homeless population by providing emergency accommodations, but there are also projects underway aimed at finding permanent housing.
Since April 1 of this year, the ministry says nearly 300 people have been helped into housing.
"All Quebecers deserve a safe and affordable place to call home. Yet every day, vulnerable people are homeless or at risk of becoming so," says Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage in a statement.
This announcement comes as about one hundred homeless people were told to find a new shelter after the emergency accommodations in Place Dupuis — another temporary shelter in a downtown hotel — will close at the end of June.
The contract between Montreal and the hotel led to the creation of 250 emergency places to shelter homeless people through the winter.