The mayor said the city is less in need of shelters than it is of staff.
Comedian Mike Ward tweeted out quite the offer to Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante on Saturday. Ward proposed a donation of individual shelters to protect unhoused residents.
Ward said he had originally built and offered 25 shelters to the city of Montreal last year. "A simple yes from you and no one else will freeze to death this winter, " Ward wrote to Plante on Saturday. His offer comes after the deaths of two homeless Montrealers as temperatures dipped far below zero.
J\u2019ai fait construire 25 abris (pour itin\u00e9rants) que j\u2019ai offert \u00e0 votre \u00e9quipe l\u2019ann\u00e9e pass\u00e9e. L\u2019offre tient toujours. C\u2019est des tentes en bois, isol\u00e9s, chauff\u00e9 avec la chaleur du corps humain. Con\u00e7u pour les gens les plus \u00e0 risque... (suite) https://www.facebook.com/MikeWardca/posts/471246927693511\u00a0\u2026https://twitter.com/Val_Plante/status/1480994825822429187\u00a0\u2026— Mike Ward (@Mike Ward) 1642872144
Ward claimed his insulated wooden tents could remain comfortable in temperatures as cold as -30 C and suggested they could serve individuals who are unable to use designated shelters.
In a response to Ward posted to Facebook, Mayor Plante thanked Ward but appeared to decline the offer, saying the shelters aren't necessarily a solution.
"We don't need places adapted for all types of clientele," she wrote. Instead, she said the city is looking for people to "operate the resources intended for those in a homeless situation."
She invited Ward to sign up to help through the government's JeContribute volunteer platform.
"The City of Montreal is always present to support the health network and community organizations that support people experiencing homelessness," the mayor said. "They form a complex ecosystem, because the solutions to homelessness issues must be structured, adapted and varied."
"Rest assured that we are working with our partners on immediate and longer-term solutions to ensure that everyone has a roof over their heads and lives in dignity."