The Québec government will provide $3 million in financial assistance to help Résilience Montréal purchase a building to house the organization's activities. Since 2019, the Résilience Montréal drop-in centre has helped the homeless, and specifically the vulnerable people that frequent Cabot Square. By providing assistance via the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, the government aims to improve the situation of the First Nations members and Inuit who converge on Cabot Square and form the majority of Résilience Montréal's clients.
As part of its regular activities, Résilience Montréal serves around 1,000 meals daily to people without other resources. In addition, it offers a range of services including showers, a laundry and a clothing bank, used by about 150 people every day. The purchase of a building close to Cabot Square will ensure that services continue for the vulnerable people who depend on them, and also create more room to provide the services.
In addition to the assistance received from the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, Résilience Montréal will be supported by other public and private partners that have decided to support the essential services Résilience Montréal provides, making the project an inspiring example of joint action. Several foundations have pledged their support: Fondation Marcelle et Jean Coutu, Pathy Family Foundation, McConnell Foundation, Foundation of Greater Montréal, Centraide du Grand Montréal, Fondation J. A. DeSève and George Hogg Family Foundation. Collectively, the foundations have committed more than $1.5 million over a three-year period.
The project's relevance cannot be doubted. The relocation of a drop-in centre in 2018 led to a significant degradation in the social climate in Cabot Square, an increase in violence and substance use, and even to several deaths. The fact that Résilience Montréal will now have a permanent base will make it possible to maintain balance within this fragile environment and improve the situation of the Indigenous and other people in need who occupy the space.
The Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones already provides support through the Aboriginal Initiatives Fund III. However, the lack of available premises in the area, along with the clear needs expressed by the organization and endorsed by the authorities concerned, has encouraged the government to take exceptional measures. Since Résilience Montréal does not have the financial means to secure permanent premises in an appropriate setting, the government considers that it is reasonable to make a financial contribution to a project that benefits the entire local population.
Quotes: "I know the area served by Résilience Montréal well, and I believe that the government's move to maintain services around Cabot Square is an excellent idea. In recent years we have seen too many incidents involving Indigenous people in need, and it is our duty to find ways to solve a problem that affects so many people in a vulnerable situation. I hope that by helping Résilience Montréal to set up in premises that will enable it to serve Cabot Square more effectively, we will see a significant positive impact on the neighbourhood in the years to come. We need to move forward and ensure that the tragedies that have affected the members of Indigenous communities linving in Montréal and in other cities no longer occur." Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs
"Résilience Montréal performs an essential role not only for many Indigenous people, but also for all the needy people who converge on Cabot Square. The support from the government will clearly make a big difference for the quality of life of all citizens in the neighbourhood. We are seeking solutions, and we will do what is necessary to make sure that we see no more of the terrible incidents that have marked Montréal over the last few months."
Chantal Rouleau, Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region "I am grateful to have such varied partners come together to support the people who turn to Resilience Montreal, when they are in need. This funding means that we can secure a permanent location, a place that will feel like home." Nakuset, President of Résilience Montréal and executive director of the Native Women's Shelter in Montréal
"At the Foundation of Greater Montréal, we are proud to work with other foundations that promote new ways of working together and listening to the voice of the community. This donation of $1.5 million over three years from our seven foundations shows clearly that we can implement major projects together, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our group of foundations mobilized quickly to meet an urgent need, and we hope that this process will become a model for cooperation in the future. In addition, the project shows how the public and philanthropic sectors can complement each other, with each sector playing a key role to ensure that a structural community project becomes feasible." Tasha Lackman, Vice President of Philanthropy and Community at the Foundation of Greater Montréal
"Makivik is glad to see that Quebec is stepping up to support the Inuit homeless population in Montreal. The pandemic has hit the homeless and vulnerable people very hard and we need to find ways to support them and make sure they have access to the services they need. We will continue to work closely with the Quebec government and the City of Montreal on this very important issue for all of us." Pita Atami, President of Makivik
SOURCE Cabinet de la ministre responsable des Affaires autochtones via CISION
For further information: Source: Mathieu Durocher, Press officer, Office of the Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Phone: 418 528-8407; Information: Antoine Tousignant, Public affairs team leader, Ministère du Conseil exécutif and Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor, Phone: 418 781-9520, firstname.lastname@example.org