Homelessness in Montreal: How research from politics, economics and social work can help improve this issue

by annelaurenceb on April 14, 2015 - 7:04am

On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, more than 1000 volunteers walked the streets of Montreal in order to count and ask questions to the homeless people that are living in the streets of the city. According to an article published on March 24, 2015 in the Montreal Gazette called “Army of volunteers carries out Montreal homeless census” written by Monique Muise who participated herself in the activity, a lot less volunteers were expected and it was a nice surprise to see all those people come for the cause. Some volunteers explained that it was not a thing that is commonly done and that homeless do not usually get counted this way in a census. The operation took many hours during the night and the volunteers were split into more than one hundred teams and were asked to cover some sectors, including the Metro of Montreal.

This operation was put forward by the Douglas Health Institute’s research center paired with others such as the YMCAs of the province. The project was planned in under than three months, but according to the people that experienced it, it was well organized and everyone was thought of, including the safety of the volunteers. Each one of them received clear instructions and the police was present all night in order to assure the security of everyone.

Following that night, the surveys continued to be conducted in centers and shelters for the homeless during two days in order to paint a more accurate picture of what the situation really is in the city. The results are only going to be revealed and accessible to the public around the middle of June, depending of what the municipality decides to do with those results.

This initiative will help the municipality know what they are facing and it will indicate which measures are necessary when they are going to receive the final numbers and statistics. Therefore, this census will help them find solutions to fight against homelessness.

Source: “Army of volunteers carries out Montreal homeless census”, Monique Muise. The Montreal Gazette. Published on March 24, 2015. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/army-of-volunteers-carries-out-montreal-homeless-census

I have been writing about poverty, which includes homelessness, throughout the semester and it is an issue that I find inspiring. This is the reason I have decided to write my term paper on homelessness in Montreal and what the government of the province can do to improve the situation. I wanted to read academic work about this issue to understand better what could be done to improve the situation on a larger level and why it has not been done already. Earlier in the semester, I wrote a news summary on the funding given by the Quebec’s government in order to fight against homelessness and how that money had helped over the last few years. My three academic disciplines will help me to take a closer look at that and also compare with other places in the world were the practices are either very similar or different and their outcomes.

The research question I expect my paper will answer is: What are the measures that could be taken by the Quebec government to fight against homelessness in Montreal? In order to answer that question, I will not only look to Quebec’s current policies but also other countries where the rates of homelessness are low and the measures they take to keep them that way.

The first academic discipline I will use for my paper is economics and finance. This discipline is mastering all that is relating to money and budgets, and it is crucial in fighting against homelessness. You can study such discipline in the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, as you can see on the following page: http://www.mcgill.ca/undergraduate-admissions/choosing-your-program/desautels-faculty-management. The second academic discipline that I will use in my essay is the one of politics, laws and society. This discipline is offered in the Faculty of Arts of McGill University and here is the link to the page to have more information to study this discipline: http://www.mcgill.ca/undergraduate-admissions/choosing-your-program/faculty-arts. The third and last academic discipline that I am going to analyze in my essay to help me answer my research question is social work. This discipline is also offered at McGill University in the School of Social Work. To know more about this discipline, here is the link: http://www.mcgill.ca/undergraduate-admissions/choosing-your-program/faculty-arts/school-social-work.

I think that those three disciplines are going to be useful for me since they both are related to measures the government could take in order to reduce homelessness. They analyze those measures from different points of view. To relate to the news, there have been discussions recently on what the government could do to reduce poverty and homelessness in the great region of Montreal, and those disciplines could help answer my research question about that subject.