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Chez Doris day shelter to suspend some services for at least two months

Chez Doris plans to temporarily suspend certain frontline services at its women's day shelter starting on Saturday for at least two months. As a result, clients won't have access to meals, day beds and caseworkers.

The organization shared the news with their partners on Wednesday morning. The announcement, obtained by CTV News, explains that during the temporary closure, they'll "be concentrating on recruiting, integrating, and training new staff members."

Some renovations are also on the agenda to improve the quality of their facilities, the email also explained, noting the day shelter, located at 1430 Chomedey Street will continue to operate in a limited capacity during this time.

On Thursday, the shelter's executive director, Marina Boulos-Winton, said the shelter plans to hire and train 28 people during the next two months to work in an environment that has changed dramatically. She says turning to volunteers is not an option.

"It's become dangerous in that the mental health issues and the drug addictions surpass our ability to meet those needs with volunteers. You need naloxone training, suicide training, what to do in a crisis situation…" she explained.

There are already serious concerns being raised about what the impact will be on people who use the day services and the impact on other shelters that will be called upon to try and fill the gaps.

"When Chez Doris closes all that clientele is going over to Resilience (Resilience Montreal, a nearby day shelter) and they don't have enough money," says Nakuset, the director of The Native Women's Shelter.

Resilience Montreal, located at the corner of Atwater and Sainte-Catherine Streets, serves thousands of meals a day to people who are homeless or vulnerable, said Nakuset, an increase of 63 per cent in the last year.

She said along with the unhoused population, they now help members of the immigrant population who knock on their doors, and she predicts that when the service offerings at Chez Doris change on the weekend, there will immediately be more people spending time outdoors in Cabot Square during the day.

"This is the issue. Last week there was the announcement that there were 10,000 more people that were homeless than in 2018," said Nakuset.

"I mean I know that Quebec mayors met last week to have a discussion about this and people are outraged about this – but nothing is happening.

"We are still in a crisis of homelessness," she said.


As of Saturday, while the day shelter suspends its core services for at least two months, certain activities will be maintained, the notice reads.

  • Monday to Friday, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the front door, clients will be able to pick up their mail and medication, receive emergency clothing, and hygiene products and access referrals
  • Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., the front desk will continue to handle phone inquiries, including overnight bed reservations and to accept winter clothing donations
  • The night shelter at 1437 Chomedey will continue to operate seven nights a week from 8:30 p.m. - 8:30 a.m.
  • The health and social service centre at 1455 Lambert-Closse Street will remain open Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.(closed at noon). Medical appointments, socio-recreational activities and other services will still be available. Top Stories

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