Homelessness in Montreal

by annelaurenceb on March 16, 2015 - 11:34pm

As published in the Montreal Gazette on March 5th, 2015 in an article called “Quebec renews $9-million investment to fight poverty” written by the journalist Geoffrey Vendeville, the Quebec government decided to renew its investment of 9 million against poverty but also social exclusion in the city of Montreal. They first wanted to reduce that budget but after many discussions they decided to give it again this year. Last year, this amount of money helped an estimation of 350,000 people in need. Even though this year Quebec finally decided to renew the money it was giving to this cause, it is still unsure of what will happen next year, and this is a problem since this issue is one that needs constant support and that cannot be solved in a year only.

This issue is hard to improve since it is hard to count the number of people that are living in poverty and the last count have been made a long time ago in 1996-1997. However, this spring there was a group of students, supported by the Douglas Mental Health University Institute Research Centre, the YMCAs of Quebec and others, that went in the streets to make an attempt at counting the number of individuals living in the streets.

The Little Burgundy Coalition is a coalition of many non-profit organizations in the region of Montreal that help the cause of poverty and they were extremely relieved to hear about the renewal of the budget which helps them a lot. One organization that is in the Little Burgundy Coalition is the Welcome Hall Mission, a place where homeless and people in need receive help in many ways to reintegrate the society. There are many volunteer opportunities at the Welcome Hall Mission, such as helping with the Food Bank or working at their boutique of used clothes. To have more information about those different opportunities, you can visit their website (http://www.welcomehallmission.com/en#.VQeaY_ldWSo) and contact them, they usually answer very clearly and quickly.

In conclusion, this issue needs to be taken seriously since being homeless in Montreal is a challenge that is even greater in the winter when people that do not have a shelter need to live outside in the freezing cold.



I agree with you on the fact that people are not always taking seriously the fact that there are so many people in the street in Montreal. It is so sad, because we do not even realize that we are lucky to have a place to live, food, and heat in winter. Fortunately, there are many places where a homeless person can go. The Benedict Labre House, which is located on Young Street in Montreal, is a place that counts more than 500 volunteers and it is possible to be part of the team or to give money to help this shelter. Here is the link of the house :

As you said, homelessness is major, and it cannot be solved over night, especially when the government`s money is involved. It is great that the government is investing 9 million which, turned out to help 350,000 people! I do agree with you, not knowing if there will be a budget next year brings insecurities for 350, 000 people and more. Due to the fact that money is an issue, non-profit organizations such as NDG Food Depot can help at least fight hunger! The NDG Food Depot offers people whom are unable to be self-sufficient to by food. Although not many can donate millions, everyone can donate time. Here is the website, if it interests you.

It is a great news that among all the cuts in expense led by the current government, the budget reserved for fighting homelessness is still intact. However, this issue which involves many serious social implications can not be resolved by the efforts of governments alone. The responsive efforts of citizens of Montreal or even people living in the vicinity of Montreal should all be mobilized in dealing social issues just like homelessness.
As a institution dedicating in providing communal bridge between the general public and the people in need, Welcome Hall Mission provides not only shelters, foods and financial support but also volunteer opportunities in all the sections where public efforts are needed to improving the living conditions of the homeless.
Link to organization: http://www.welcomehallmission.com/en

I strongly agree with your perspective on the issue; the Quebec government has done a good deed by invest $9 million in the fight against poverty. I also believe it is important that the government renews the budget every year because finding a solution to poverty is a long-term effort. In addition to the Little Burgundy Coalition, the Old Brewery Mission is another organization that is very thankful for the government's investment. The Old Brewery Mission is an organization that fights against homelessness in Montreal. For more information about the Old Brewery Mission, feel free to visit their website below.


I had no idea the Quebec government had previously invested 9 million towards fighting poverty which I think is great and I completely agree that this is an issue that should be taken seriously, especially during the winter. There are a couple approaches that can be taken to this issue. Deontology states that an action is ethical if it follows universal rules and Teleology states that morality is defined by the end goal that motivates the action. The approach that I think should be used is Utilitarianism. This is a teleological approach which outlines that something is ethical if it maximizes the greatest good for the greatest number. In this case, it sounds like helping 350 000 people in poverty is definitely the greatest good for the greatest number which means the budget renewal was the ethical decision. However, to truly know which action is ethical we would have to know what the Quebec government would spend the money on if it didn’t go towards poverty. I doubt that the money from the budget reductions would bring greater good to a greater number since as you mentioned; poverty is a serious issue that affects many people. In fact, giving more than 9 million would probably be more ethical than some of the other things the Quebec government spend their money on.