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Wet shelter for the homeless set to open near Cabot Square
MONTREAL - A shelter that welcomes homeless people who are intoxicated is set to open near Cabot square, where 14 people have died since another shelter moved last year.
Officials inaugurated the day shelter, called Resilience, on Thursday. It's located near Cabot Square, where homeless people -- many of whom are indigenous
A wet shelter that welcomes everyone, even if they've consumed alcohol or drugs, is a vital addition to the area, according to Putulik Qumak.
The Nunavut man, who has lived in Montreal for 19-years, cut the ribbon to signal the shelter's imminent opening. He has spent time around Cabot Square, but when he drinks, he has trouble finding a place to spend the night, he said.
Since the Open Door shelter moved away from the area, many homeless in Cabot square had nowhere to go.
"I was one of those clients when it was closing down," Qumak said. "It was really hard."
There are other shelters in the area -- like Chez Doris -- but it's female-only, according to Nakuset, the executive director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal.
"If you're under the influence or if you're male, you can't use [other shelters], so the idea [at Resilience] is to allow everyone to come into this service as they are," she said.
Almost 200 volunteers helped renovate Resilience; they painted it and installed amenities like an electric fireplace.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante attended the inauguration ceremony. The city is funding $600,000 of the shelter's $900,000 budget.
Resilience will, at some point, need a permanent home. Space is currently being rented on a year lease.
Despite the need for more work, Project Manager David Chapman said the opening of the shelter would be a rare victory for the homeless population.
"Today, on a day like this, this feels like finally, for once, they win," he said.
With files from CTV Montreal's Billy Shields