The City of Montreal announced Monday that it's supporting an initiative led in part by the Native Women's Shelter to offer homeless Montrealers a place to shelter in the evening. The heated outdoor centre is going up in downtown's Cabot Square.
According to a press release, the tent will be dedicated to the memory of Raphaël Napa André, a homeless Innu man who tragically died outdoors in Montreal in the evening of January 16.
The community is devastated by the death of Raphaël André, and we are mobilizing the support of the Innu and Mohawk Nations, as well as Montrealers, to help the most vulnerable in the Cabot Square area.
Nakuset, executive director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal
The centre will be available between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. starting Tuesday, February 2, to homeless folks who need a place to warm up at night.
Coffee and sandwiches will be offered to those in need and there will be social workers on-site to assist individuals. Public health regulations will be respected.
Very excited to see the Raphael Andre memorial tent being installed. Huge thanks to @michele_audette, @Val_Plante,… https://t.co/AUkozXHb9i— Nakuset S (@Nakuset S) 1612211477.0
The announcement comes after the Government of Quebec faced intense criticism for not exempting homeless people from the nightly curfew.
A Superior Court judge later struck down that decision, citing a "discriminatory" effect on the population.
The City of Montreal also says it's offering support to the Open Door organization to help it resume its 24-hour services, as well as working to develop an "outdoor project" for the Plateau-Mont-Royal.
"This place will, I hope, bring a little warmth to the vulnerable people who frequent the square at night," said Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante in a statement.