Press Release - Mouvement pour mettre fin à l’itinérance à Montréal
News release—For immediate distribution
Mouvement pour mettre fin à l’itinérance à Montréal
ELIMINATING CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS IN MONTREAL BY 2020: YES, WE CAN!
Montreal, December 18, 2015—James McGregor, general manager of the Mouvement pour mettre fin à l’itinérance (MMFIM) and Matthew Pearce, president and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission, accompanied by Montreal’s mayor, Denis Coderre, today announced the first stage in the MMFIM’s Action plan to eliminate homelessness in Montreal.
Inspired by proven practices in many cities around the world, the first stage in the action plan is aimed at helping some 2,000 chronically and cyclically homeless men and women exit the street. One of the MMFIM’s strategies for achieving this goal will be to equip and adapt a number of community organizations associating them closely with the healthcare network.
“The experience here at home and elsewhere has shown that by providing them with decent, permanent and affordable housing, along with support adapted to their needs, most will succeed in exiting the street. It means applying an approach that has been proven effective in cities across Europe, Canada and the United States, aimed at helping vulnerable people not only get off the street but lead a satisfying life.” said Mr James McGregor, general director of the Mouvement pour mettre fin à l’itinérance.
The MMFIM’s plan was developed in the wake of the census of homeless people conducted in March 2015, which identified 784 chronically homeless and 1,357 cyclically homeless men and women—more than 2,000 people whose daily reality is life on the street.
“The MMFIM’s proposed initiatives are in line with the Plan d’action montréalais en itinérance 2014-2017, in which the City has committed to a series of actions that will contribute to the social reintegration of men and women living on the street. For this reason, and also because the MMFIM’s plan brings together business people, researchers and community organizations, the Ville de Montréal is supporting the MMFIM’s plan by granting the organization $140,000 annually over a five-year period,” said Mayor Coderre.
The MMFIM is confident that by the end of the first five years, 1,500 men and women will be housed, supported and integrated into their community by the specialized community network, and 500 more will have become independent and able to live with or without assistance from the regular system.
Obviously, getting nearly 2,000 vulnerable people off the street will not happen without investment. “The amounts proposed by the plan will result savings for our society, because the annual cost of neglecting the most vulnerable among us is just as high. And then there’s the pride Montrealers will feel if we succeed in putting an end to this tragedy that unfolds on our streets every day,” concluded Mr. McGregor.
While many of the components in the MMFIM’s plan presented today are already in effect, they need to be brought together to focus on a clear, ambitious goal. Specific means will be added where they will be most useful. There is also a need for better training for the people who work in this network, along with information-gathering and evaluation of results.
This initiative is made possible with financial support from the Echo Foundation, the Foundation of Greater Montreal, Destination Centre-Ville, Otsuka Canada and BOMA Quebec.
To view the online version of the Action plan to eliminate homelessness in Montreal, please visit www.mmfim.ca/objective2020.
The MMFIM at a glance
The Mouvement pour mettre fin à l’itinérance à Montréal comprises representatives from the Greater Montreal community—business people, non-profit organizations that work with homeless people, institutions and researchers—who wish to address the challenge of eliminating homelessness in Montreal as we know it today.
Source: Mouvement pour mettre fin à l’itinérance à Montréal
Anik Le Marquand