As the Omicron variant hits the homelessness sector, the need for frontline staff is greater than ever. Since the beginning of the year, nearly 500 people experiencing homelessness in Montreal have tested positive for COVID-19.
On January 9, in collaboration with the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, our CEO James Hughes and Émilie Fortier, Director of Services at our St-Laurent Campus (CSL), sounded the alarm. Since last June, the Mission had been advocating for an increase in the number of beds and services adapted to people experiencing homelessness. The available beds were considered insufficient, even before the arrival of the cold weather and the explosion of cases of COVID-19 due to Omicron.
“People experiencing homelessness are ten times more likely to end up in intensive care and five times more likely to die,” says James Hughes. From December 26 to January 1, outbreaks occurred in 27 homeless-serving facilities in the city.
The Old Brewery Mission’s appeal has been heard. In January11, Mayor Valérie Plante announced it would take over the Montreal Soccer Stadium, as an additional 320-bed shelter for homeless people with COVID-19. Cots, showers and meals are provided. The average stay is one week.
The Old Brewery Mission team has been dispatched to the site, but there is a serious lack of staff across our services. We are therefore calling on all those who would like to lend a hand. “We are looking for people who have experience in psychosocial support, counselling, administration or working with people experiencing homelessness. We will welcome them and provide practical training,” adds Émilie Fortier. It should be noted that these people must be doubly vaccinated. Protective equipment will be provided.
To join our team, renowned for its compassion, resilience and energy, send us your CV to the following address: email@example.com.
You can also support our essential
work by making a donation.
The Old Brewery Mission conducted about 30 interviews to raise awareness of this difficult situation. Read more:
Froid extrême et pandémie, une “vraie tempête” à gérer en itinérance, TVA Nouvelles, January 16
Plus de places nécessaires pour les itinérants à Montréal, TVA Nouvelles, January 15
Un nouveau refuge pour sans-abris atteints de la Covid 19, La Presse, January 14
Un nouveau refuge d’urgence devant la flambée des cas de COVID-19, Le Devoir, January 13
Soccer stadium converted into shelter for homeless people with COVID-19, Global News, January 13
Plus de 300 sans-abris atteints du coronavirus en quarantaine au Stade de soccer, Radio-Canada, January 13
Itinérance, froid et Covid: une équation complexe, Radio Canada, January 11
Montréal se dirige vers un « scénario catastrophique », La Presse, January 11
Entrevue avec Émilie Fortier : L’aide aux itinérants en période de pandémie, Radio Canada, January 10