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mobilization to put an end to chronic homelessness

01 December 2015

Montrealers have proven to be very sensitive to the issue of homelessness and generous towards the Old Brewery Mission Foundation.

The organization has received nearly $14 million in private donations in the last 24 months. As a reminder, the overall campaign objective is to collect $55.5 million, including $26 million in private sources and $29.5 million from the three levels of government.

Act Collectively

Inspired by the Mission’s vision and leadership of turning Montreal into a model city where each citizen has a place to call home, Louis Audet, president and CEO of Cogeco, spared no effort in putting together a campaign cabinet in order to generate revenue critical to ending chronic homelessness.

In the winter of 2013, the Mission submitted its new strategic plan to put an end to chronic homelessness. In 2014, several prominent business people joined Louis Audet and the Foundation to form the cabinet. This cabinet is composed of L. Jacques Ménard (President, BMO Nesbitt Burns and BMO Financial Group), Andrew Molson (President, RES PUBLICA Consulting Group), John Rae (Executive Vice-President, Power Corporation), Jean Raymond (Vice-Chairman & Managing Director and Head, Wholesale Banking, CIBC), Michael Sabia (President & CEO, Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec), Martin Thibodeau (President, Quebec Headquarters, RBC Royal Bank), and Stephen MacCulloch (former Vice-Chairman, Global Investment Banking, Scotia Capital). This business community has mobilized to put an end to chronic homelessness as we know it today.

“We had set an objective of collecting $26 million from the community by 2020. In less than 24 months, we have neared the halfway mark of this objective. I was very moved by the generosity and solidarity that the business community and Montrealers have displayed towards our most vulnerable citizens. It should be said that the Mission has a very innovative approach and has clearly outlined the solutions that will be implemented to break the cycle of chronic homelessness,” said Mr. Louis Audet, president and CEO of Cogeco and president of the Foundation’s Major Fundraising Campaign. 

A Concrete and Realistic Plan to Put an End to Chronic Homelessness

The Mission has put forward six key priorities to end chronic homelessness. These priorities include access to housing, adapted health care services, and a community support network. “Our programs lead to tangible results, which is why donors trust us. Thanks to our adapted health care programs, for example, 56% of our clients with chronic mental health disorders were able to reintegrate into society. Each year, transition and social reintegration programs help 600 people to break the cycle of chronic homelessness. Over 75% per cent of program participants find housing, their autonomy, and a stable life. Moreover, in the 126 years that the Mission has provided services, it is the first year that the number of housing units has exceeded the number of beds in our shelters,” explained Mr. Matthew Pearce, president and CEO of the Mission.

“Thanks to the Foundation’s major fundraising campaign, the Mission will be able to set up the necessary resources to enhance its existing programs and services. It will also be in a position to take further steps to help homeless women and men reach their full potential and regain their dignity in the community,” said Mrs. Marie Claire Morin, executive director of the Foundation.

The Foundation and the Mission wish to express their sincere gratitude to the businesses and individuals that contribute to this transformative campaign and wish to underline the support and contribution of the three levels of government. “To end homelessness, we need to not only think differently, we also need to act collectively,” concluded Eric Maldoff, Chair of the Mission’s Board of Directors, and Rick Leckner, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

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