Executives sleep outside in Dans La Rue fundraiser
Published Thursday, October 5, 2017 9:20PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 6, 2017 8:37AM EDT
More than 50 people slept in Dorchester Square Thursday night to raise awareness and funds for Dans La Rue.
According to the Canadian Observatory On Homelessness more than 70 per cent of homeless Canadians are youths.
Dans La Rue has been helping roughly 1,500 young people per year for almost 30 years.
Among them is Marie-Pier Caron, who left her home north of Quebec City when she was 15.
She said her mother was very poor, her brothers were addicted to drugs, so she left in search of a better life.
"I had to leave home. I couldn't stay there. If I would stay there I would have become like my brothers and I didn't want to," said Caron.
She wound up in Montreal with nothing, until she discovered Dans La Rue.
"I was so hungry, I lost so much weight travelling. I had no clothing. I hadn't taken a shower. They gave me everything, all of that," said Caron.
That's exactly why dozens of people such as Robert Dumas, the president of Sun Life's Quebec division, raised money for the organization and will spend the night sleeping outdoors.
"You think of homeless people you don't have a picture of a young woman or man that is living in the streets, but this is what it is about. It's young people having nowhere to go," said Dumas.
Dans La Rue also set up multiple kiosks in Dorchester Square to showcase the programs and services it offers, such as educational babysitting for young families.
"I don't know enough about what these people are going through and I don't spend enough time with these people and I want to make sure that this evening will answer some of my questions," said radio host Philippe Fehmiu.
Among the programs offered are art therapy, a music room, and networks to find people jobs.
Caron now lives in social housing that Dans La Rue helped her find.
"It made me feel secure. I had someone to help me out," said Caron.
She hopes the fundraiser will allow the organization to help even more people just like her.