City gives $15K to women's shelter to keep beds open longer
The City of Montreal is giving $15,000 to a downtown women's shelter to help with much needed beds for the winter months.
“We're aware of the different faces of homelessness in Montreal and that includes women,” said Mayor Valerie Plante.
The subsidy will help keep 10 beds at La Rue des Femmes, currently only open from December to April, available for one more month.
“It won't go very far. We're pleased to have it, but it won't go very far. We need to have those beds open all year long,” said Lorraine Pipon of La Rue des Femmes.
Pipon said they were forced to turn women away last November when it turned cold.
“We had to refuse over 20 women one day, tell them, ‘We're sorry you can't come and sleep here, there's no room,’” she said.
Plante said her administration is committed to tackling homelessness, and is aware of how it's changing.
“Maybe 20 years ago we defined a homeless person as man, maybe older, but now we see that it's totally different,” she said, adding that younger people and immigrants are facing homelessness.
Medical and social resources need to be improved, said Plante.
“The Montreal action plan on homelessness is coming out in the next few weeks so those are all questions we're going to be looking at,” said Rosannie Filato, the Projet Montreal councillor in charge of homelessness.
The number of women on the street is growing, said Pipon.
“Women are more vulnerable to being abused in the street, to being in the street, to being raped in the street,” she said.