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Resilience Montreal in desperate need of funding to stay open for holidays – Montreal

Resilience Montreal in desperate need of funding to stay open for holidays - Montreal
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Resilience Montreal believes the city is prioritizing pets over people.

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That’s why staff are livid about the city’s decision to spend millions of dollars to build a shelter for pets when, they point out, there is a shortage of services for the homeless and the shelter is in danger of closing for the holidays.

“Here we are an Indigenous-led homeless resource and we’re operating below zero and continually searching for funding,” explained executive director, David Chapman.  “The obvious question is why can the humans not be looked after as well as the dogs?”

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Last week city authorities announced plans to spend $158 million over a decade to build and manage a shelter for animals.

“I mean, we care a lot clearly about trauma-affected dogs, but what about the trauma-affected humans?” Chapman wondered.

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Staff are worried about the demand on their services, which they say has surged because of the increase in the homeless population. According to Chapman, this time last year about 250 people were going there daily for help.

“Now, it’s more like 350, so about an increase of one-third,” he pointed out.

Resilience is asking Montreal for $500,000 to avoid going hundreds of thousands of dollars further into debt. Without it, they argue, they would have to shut down for the holidays.  That would be a blow to the homeless population, staff say, especially so for Indigenous and racialized, homeless women in the area around Cabot Square, next to Resilience Montreal.

Chez Doris, a resources for homeless and vulnerable women in the area, temporarily closed its day shelter a few months ago. Those who work with women say since the end of August, they have recorded an increase in violence against women, and also in severity.

“So, (we’re seeing) more types of violence involving strangulation which is one of the most deadly forms of violence, violence that results in spine trauma or head trauma that could lead to a delayed death,” said Laura Aguiar of Iskweu Project, an organization dedicated to reducing and stopping the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and that works with Resilience Montreal.

According to Aguiar there have been 24 intimate partner attacks, five kidnappings, six sexual exploitation cases and one suspicious death. She points out that the additional funds Resilience is asking for could help ensure that there’s a safe place for the women, and staff who can intervene.

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In a statement the city says they agree that a shutdown of Resilience must be avoided “at all costs” and they’ll be in touch with Resilience Montreal to find a solution.

 

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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