Quebec LGBTQ2S+ crisis line will maintain overnight services thanks to public support
The Interligne crisis line will, "against all odds," temporarily maintain its overnight services.
The organization, which works with members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, announced Friday evening that it had secured adequate funding to keep the line open during late hours.
Due to a lack of recurring financial support, Interligne previously said it wouldn't be able to respond to nighttime distress calls as of March 31.
"Interligne was unexpectedly able to secure enough funding to allow it to maintain minimum service overnight," reads a statement from the organization.
The statement did not specify how long the funds would allow the service to continue.
Nevertheless, the agency's executive director is pleased with the temporary extension thanks to public support.
"We never thought that the mobilization of the community and the corporate world could help us extend our nightly crisis line. It allows us to save time, to continue to save lives while we continue the discussion with the Quebec government," said Pascal Vaillancourt in the release.
On Friday, Interligne organized a benefit cabaret at the Plaza Theatre in Montreal to support its night line.
In recent months, Interligne has lobbied the Legault government for a recurring sum of $300,000 to ensure the survival of its service between midnight and 8 a.m.
According to the organization, this amount was required to give workers a decent wage.
In February, the Coalition avenir Québec government refused to accept the tabling of a motion by the Quebec Liberal Party calling for funding to maintain the hotline's night services.
Interligne -- formerly called Gai Écoute -- says one-third of emergency calls occur during this time.
"People who call the help and information service between midnight and 8 a.m. often call to express even more urgent distress, at times when psychological support and crisis intervention are more than necessary," the release continues.
On average, more than 35,000 LGBTQ2S+ people contact Interligne's crisis line annually.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 1, 2023.
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