An unhoused man is suing the City of Montreal and its police force, alleging he has received hundreds of tickets, including some on the same day, while trying to help the local homeless community.

Guylain Levasseur, and his dog Misha, have been living out of a camper van for years. During that time, he’s parked outside Beaudry Metro, handing out food, clothing, and offering a warm place to stay.

“That motorhome helped people living in the street to get warm, to get food," he said. "Sometimes, they need to talk.” 

But Levasseur alleges that, for years, he was targeted by police and ticketed more than 230 times.

“They want me to leave. I said no. I’m helping people, [giving] food, and things like that,” he said.

In the lawsuit, Levasseur's lawyer alleges he was ticketed multiple times in a day – sometimes for parking infractions, and other times, for other vehicle issues.

"In particular, on July 24, 2018, where he received three tickets, on Aug. 16, 2018, where he received three tickets, on Aug. 18, 2018, where he received seven tickets, and on Aug. 28, 2018, where he received four tickets," reads the lawsuit.

“I think, at the end, it was kind of personal attack,” he said. “It’s four years of hell. Living hell.”

“They tried to take me off the only thing I got. My car, it was my home,” he alleged.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office told CTV said the city wants to promote social interventions when dealing with vulnerable people. CTV also reached out to Montreal police, but did not receive a response.

Welcome Hall Mission CEO Sam Watts says bylaws should always be respected. But, he says, ticketing the homeless is not a good use of resources.

“We're better off putting that money into helping people get into permanent housing,” he said.

Watts says that when the alleged tickets were issued – between 2015 and 2019 – police and parking agents took a different approach towards the homeless.

“There's no question the police force has become better trained and better equipped,” he said. “With the new police chief (Fady Dagher), and with the orientation that he has, I'm hoping that it is going to continue to get better and better.”