Montreal is not new to homelessness. We even have some "famous" homeless Montrealers that everybody is familiar with, that's how long they've been around. Despite these well-known panhandlers, you wouldn't instinctively classify Montreal as a city with a homeless problem.
TL;DR Officials across the city agree that this past year and current winter season in Montreal has experienced an unprecedented number of homeless people.
Officials across the city agree that this past year and current winter season in Montreal has experienced an unprecedented number of homeless people.
According to a recent report by Le Journal De Montreal, a Montreal priest, Father Claude Paradis, who has dedicated his life to helping the homeless, claims that he has has not seen this many homeless people in the streets for years.
His Maison du Père homeless shelter has hundreds of people lined up outside yesterday. And that's just one homeless shelter in Montreal.
The Royal Victoria Hospital even announced that they will open 80 beds from January 15 to April 15 in order to bring some relief to the streets of Montreal.
Matthew Pearce, president of Old Brewery Mission, asserts that this is an issue that has been going on since the summer. He even confirms that the Old Brewery Mission is full to the point where people are required to sleep on the floor.
All this begs the question - why?
Why are Montreal streets suddenly flooded with people who find themselves without a home and desperate for a warm place to sleep.
According to Father Paradis, Montreal is going through a difficult time in the treatment of mental health.
In patient mental health institutions are reducing the number of beds, so people often find themselves on the streets without resources.
Although this is just one theory, it is clear that the rise in homelessness is a symptom of a much deeper issue that needs to be addressed quickly by the City of Montreal before the bitter January and February cold rolls around.