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The Solidaribus: A Symbol of Solidarity on Four Wheels

26 November 2020

There’s no question about it—winter is the time of year when homeless shelters have the most trouble meeting needs. This coming winter, combined with the pandemic, will be especially challenging. More than ever, creative and unifying solutions are needed to support our society’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Solidaribus, A Beacon in The Cold

The STM has generously agreed to lend a bus to the Old Brewery Mission and to maintain it for the rest of its useful life. The City of Montreal will cover the driver’s salary and the cost of fuel.

Starting November 30, our Solidaribus will provide more regular shuttle service for homeless people to emergency homeless shelters and the various intake services, including the overflow unit at Hôtel Place Dupuis, and after the metro stations close for the night. With a worker from the Mission on board, this bus will provide safe transport for over 100 people each night who need a roof over their heads, support services, or a place to warm up. The Solidaribus is a positive addition to the Mission’s second shuttle, which has been operating for several years now.

“Each winter, our shuttle is front and centre, helping people on the streets of Montreal. This year, with the challenges presented by the pandemic and the growing number of people needing our emergency services, we couldn’t have done it without the help of our generous partners. This extra vehicle will provide an essential service to thousands of homeless people, helping to raise awareness in our community about the realities of homelessness, but also about the need for long-term solutions, such as access to housing.”

James Hughes, President and CEO of the Mission

 

Winter During COVID-19: An Outpouring of Solidarity

To better support homeless people in the coming months, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the Old Brewery Mission (Mission), the Société de développement social (SDS), the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), the City of Montreal, the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and the Quebec government joined forces to announce a series of cold-weather measures.

“I’m impressed by the level of cooperation between the STM, the Mission, the SDS, the City of Montreal, the SPVM, and the Quebec government, who all worked together on the various initiatives implemented at our facilities. In fact, collaboration and partnership are two of our core values.”

Philippe Schnobb, Chair, STM Board of Directors

 

The City of Montreal, the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, and the Réseau communautaire montréalais have introduced various winter measures to ensure that no one is forced to spend the night outside in the cold. A total of 1,650 spaces have been made available for homeless people, who can rely on a system of shuttles to transport them safely to shelters, overflow units, and warming centres located in the various boroughs.

“The joint winter plan is the result of careful consideration following the first wave of COVID-19, which allowed us to identify new issues surrounding homelessness in the STM network and to provide an appropriate response that would help increase the safety of employees, customers and homeless people, while ensuring all members of society can coexist peacefully alongside each other.”

Valérie Plante, mayor of Montreal

 

By donating to the Old Brewery Mission, you help us make the greatest possible difference in the lives of those who need it most. Thank you for supporting us.

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