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Café Mission Keurig drop-in centre now open 24/7

19 January 2024
A snapshot from outside the Café Mission Keurig drop-in center.
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Café Mission Keurig drop-in centre.

The Old Brewery Mission announced today that it is extending the hours of its Café Mission Keurig drop-in centre, which is an important component in Montreal’s homelessness ecosystem. The Café Mission will be open 24 hours a day to meet the basic needs of more Montrealers experiencing homelessness or precariousness. Last year, the drop-in centre received almost 70,000 visits. In December 2023, the Café Mission recorded an average of 157 daily visits.

Starting today, the Café Mission Keurig will be open round the clock Monday to Friday, with plans to stay open 24/7 on weekends starting in the next few weeks. Ten new positions will have to be filled to support the extended hours. Recruitment is underway. Full details of the job openings are available at missionoldbrewery.ca/en/careers

An essential nearby service

The Café Mission opened in 2012 to serve a distinct and diverse population consisting mainly of people who don’t normally use the services of emergency shelters. It is a safe space where vulnerable people can rest and access a variety of services: laundry, showers, free clothing, computers, Internet access, hot coffee, snacks and light meals, referrals and help with paperwork. It has a capacity of 55 people, rising to 70 during extreme cold snaps.

“In addition to providing essential services, Café Mission is a place where our intervention team can connect with the people who walk in the door and support them towards sustainable reaffiliation,” explains Émilie Fortier, Vice-President of Services at the Old Brewery Mission. “The drop-in centre is also one of the main entry points to our emergency shelters.”

Support from a private donor

This change in hours was made possible by a generous corporate donor, the National Bank. “We are very grateful for the confidence the National Bank has shown in us by making a substantial 5-year donation,” says James Hughes, President and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission. “We rely heavily on donations from individuals and organizations, and we’re delighted that the National Bank has answered our appeal.”

The extension of opening hours was needed at a time when Montreal is seeing a significant increase in homelessness. The 2022 street count, released in the fall of 2023, showed a 33% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness in Montreal since 2018. At the same time, the population of people experiencing homelessness has been changing and facing new issues: the opioid crisis, increasing hardship, the proliferation of encampments, and the housing crisis.

“Every night in Montreal, there are about 1,000 people sleeping outside,” says Hughes. “These people are particularly vulnerable and have very little access to services. For them, the drop-in centre is a must.”

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