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New women’s services at the Old Brewery Mission: goodbye to dormitories, hello to a new partnership

08 March 2023

Montreal, March 8, 2023 – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Old Brewery Mission is pleased to announce two new projects that will improve the lives of women experiencing homelessness and those at risk of becoming homeless.

New setup at the emergency shelter

Thanks to a generous private donor, the Old Brewery Mission will finally be able to eliminate dormitory-style housing at the Patricia Mackenzie Pavilion. The second floor will be renovated to create 13 semi-private rooms with more privacy for users. Work will begin this spring and should be completed by the end of 2023.

The semi-private rooms will provide a quieter and more restful environment for residents. This new arrangement will limit the trauma sometimes caused by the atmosphere of traditional, dormitory-style shelters, especially for women experiencing homelessness for the first time. The primary goal of the new approach is to give residents stability as quickly as possible, thereby facilitating the transition to stable housing.

New partnership to prevent homelessness

The Old Brewery Mission is also pleased to announce a new partnership with Logis Rose Virginie, an organization that supports women in vulnerable situations and prevents homelessness among this population. This is the Old Brewery Mission’s second prevention program specifically for women in precarious situations and at risk of homelessness, the first being in partnership with LI-BER-T House (housing solutions for women coming out of an addiction treatment center).

“The entire Old Brewery Mission team is excited about developing new initiatives and launching new projects to prevent homelessness among vulnerable people,” says Georges Ohana, Director of Homelessness Prevention and Research. “The partnership with Logis Rose Virginie allows us to help a population with specific needs, namely young women in precarious situations.”

“This partnership will make it possible for young women aged 18-24 at high risk of homelessness to avoid the emergency shelter experience”, mentions Neila Ben Ayed, Executive Director of Logis Rose Virginie. The Old Brewery Mission and Logis Virginie Rose teams will join forces and work together to help these vulnerable women transition towards adapted housing with psychosocial support. Participants will pay 25% of salary towards their rent.

Logis Rose Virginie joins other Old Brewery Mission key partners in preventing homelessness, including the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec. Through the Après l’ombre program, the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec and the Old Brewery Mission have been working collaboratively to support women transitioning out of carceral institutions to access adequate housing with psychosocial support and to continue their reintegration. Since February 2022, ten women have already been accompanied by our prevention team.

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