Montreal day shelter Chez Doris is going 24/7; new funding is meant to help Inuit women
MONTREAL -- It's been a good week for people struggling with homelessness in Montreal.
Days after the city announced it's taking over a downtown hotel to create the city's biggest shelter, the women's shelter Chez Doris announced it's also creating 18 beds.
"We will be a hybrid model, both emergency shelter and warming centre," said Chez Doris director Marina Boulos-Winton.
The 18 beds will include five full beds and 13 cots with pillows, sheets and blankets.
Chez Doris is a small, longtime shelter downtown, and many of its clients are Indigenous and particularly Inuit women.
The change is happening with funding from the Makivik Corporation, which manages Quebec's northern Nunavik territory.
"Last week, Makivik approached Chez Doris to offer 24-hour service for the winter given the increased danger to the lives of Inuit women during the pandemic," Boulos-Winton said in an email to staff.
"Information gathered shows that Indigenous women have experienced an increase in sexual assault and overdose during the pandemic. We have agreed to meet the needs from December 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021."
She said there were a lot of logistics to work out, which is still underway, but that funding also includes three employees' salaries: two shelter workers and a security guard.