A bunch of residents who met on social media are distributing free meals in Cabot Sq., prompting opposition leaders to ask the town to step up its response to rising homelessness in Montreal.
Rose Cormier and Diane Gervais are a part of the workforce of 4 volunteers from Saint-Henri who met on a Fb web page for individuals residing within the neighbourhood.
They have been handing out free meals each Saturday and Sunday since early September, spurred by a bench put in by the town this summer time that was designed to stop individuals from mendacity down on it.
The bench was taken down hours later after receiving a barrage of criticism on social media and from homelessness advocates.
Mayor Valérie Plante apologized and blamed the earlier administration for ordering the bench. Cormier and Gervais informed CBC it made them understand there gave the impression to be increasingly individuals residing with no dwelling within the metropolis.
“There is a disaster and we’re attempting to reply it,” Cormier mentioned.
“Our 100 lunches went in 10 minutes final week and there have been individuals who did not get any,” added Gervais.
The group has raised funds to assist with the initiative. They’ve additionally partnered with native eating places and have just lately gotten assist from Sikh humanitarian group Khalsa Support.
The group has been handing out meals on weekends for the previous few weeks. This week, native restaurant Casa M Pizza joined in and provided individuals contemporary pizza. (Submitted by Diane Gervais)
On Saturday, they had been distributing scorching espresso, bagged lunches and contemporary pizza to the 50 or so individuals who confirmed as much as the park on the nook of Ste-Catherine and Atwater streets.
Benoit Langevin, the Ensemble Montreal metropolis councillor for Pierrefonds-Roxboro, was there and decried what he says is a scarcity of assets for homeless individuals throughout the second wave of the pandemic.
“We’re questioning why the town is not co-ordinating this,” he mentioned.
Extra motion wanted
Langevin mentioned Plante’s plan to arrange 500 momentary beds in resorts as soon as once more is not sufficient, and identified she did not say after they could be obtainable.
“Why not make these everlasting?” he requested.
Town introduced in August it might as soon as once more open momentary winter shelters on the outdated Royal Victoria hospital website, in Complexe Man-Favreau on René-Levesque Boulevard and the YMCA in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Altogether, the shelters will be capable of accommodate 315 beds.
Youssef Amane, a metropolis spokesperson, mentioned in an e mail the town could be arising with extra measures for the winter shortly.