MONTREAL -- Organizations working with the homeless are calling for amnesty for the homeless population and for workers who help them in the event of a curfew in Quebec.

Annie Savage, director of the Réseau d'aide aux personnes seules et itinérantes (RAPSIM) de Montréal, said the street is the only home for these vulnerable people, who are already heavily affected by the pandemic.

Some homeless people will be able to take refuge in places set aside for this purpose, but there are always people who prefer to stay outdoors, often finding nooks and crannies where they can stay warm.

Judicializing their situation through police intervention would not help anyone, Savage said.

Many community workers who work with people facing homelessness start their shifts in the early evening and finish in the early morning. RAPSIM is asking the authorities to provide safe conduct and tools to support them in this situation.

Quebec announced an overnight curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in a government press conference on Wednesday.

When asked what the homeless population should do, he said they should stay at a shelter indoors.

“We wish for them to be inside, and there’s a place for them,” said Legault. 

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2021.