Pushing for a better plan to beat homelessness
by S.Abate on January 24, 2014 - 3:26pm
Accueil Bonneau is a facility created to provide food and shelter for the homeless. They serve approximately 800 meals per day and give 166 beds, at four different facilities. The clients who attend the facility are not only homeless but suffer from mental disorders, have a drug and/or alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, or are diagnosed with diseases like HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, etc. Most of these clients are much too afraid to see a doctor at the hospital or CLSC, which is where 20 of Bonneau’s employees step in and act as social workers; spending weeks and months with them, building trust, accompanying them to hospitals, and convincing health care workers that these people need and deserve constant care with follow up. Each social worker at Bonneau has around 53 clients. Of the $3 million dollars that Bonneau earns annually, one-third of that is used to pay their social workers. The facility receives $275,000 from the government each year. General manager Aubin Boudreau demands a change in services, in the way they are provided as well as funded. He is determined to find a better way to give his clients the attention and care that they need for their mental issues and addiction. Boudreau demands that it is time for the government to partake action in this situation. Mayor Denis Coderre was one of the only candidates in the election campaign to draw close attention towards homelessness. He has suggested to create a company that would provide businesses, health care facilities and community organizations to identify areas in need of services, as well as federal, municipal and provincial bureaucrats. He also promised to increase municipal spending from $1.6 million dollars per year to at least $10 million dollars in extra funding, which is the amount needed to make a change, according to Coderre. He also claims to contact Quebec Social Services Minister Veronique Hivon on the issue, who has been quite responsive so far. It is hoped that in the future that this much money won’t be needed to fix this problem, for homelessness should become only temporary and be rapidly resolved.