Montreal has named an ombudsman to improve the plight of homeless people in Montreal.

Serge Lareault is the founder of L'Itineraire, and until recently he was the editor and publisher of the magazine written and sold by homeless people throughout the city.

Now he has the city's backing to help homeless people, and to reduce the number of homeless people in Montreal.

Lareault said he will continue the surveys conducted last year which show Montreal has a permanent population of about 3,000 homeless people.

Mayor Denis Coderre wants to reduce that number by two-thirds in the next four years.

Lareault said his first priority will be to have a full understanding of homelessness in Montreal, followed by asking homeless people what they need to get off the street.

"The second one is to continue the surveys we started this year with the census, and also the new study that we had last month, continue to ask them what they want, collect their vision about the services they really need," said Lareault.

He will also work with police, who deal with homeless people on a daily basis.

"They are there, they are on the ground, they meet them every day. They should help the homeless and not harass them," said Lareault.

Those who work with the homeless are glad that the city has chosen someone just months after announcing the creation of the position.

"Serge Lareault will have carte blanche, will be able to denounce, to criticize the actions of the police, of city services," said homeless advocate Pierre Gaudreau.

The idea for a city ombudsman came from Vancouver and its homeless advocate Judy Graves, who met with city councillors in August 2014.

They say that Lareault should be able to improve how homeless people are treated in Montreal.

The city has budgeted $10 million for homelessness in 2016 and 2017.