Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik October 15, 2012 - 10:57 am

Montreal shelter for homeless aboriginal peoples hopes for a better future

Makivvik Corp. funds Inuit case worker at Projects Auchtochtones du Quebec


The future is looking up for an aboriginal homeless shelter in Montreal that faced homelessness itself this past summer.

The Projects Auchtochtones du Quebec is a not-for-profit organization that houses homeless aboriginal people had almost been forced to close its doors.

That’s because the owners of the building, the Montreal Health Authority, wanted to renovate the building for its own offices.

But that’s not the situation anymore: the health authority has decided not to move.

And this means that the PAQ shelter can remain at 90 de la Gauchetière St. E. until December. But the shelter, half of whose clients are Inuit — is still looking for its own building.

The city’s health and social service agency is looking for a new home for the shelter, said the PAQ’s director Adrienne Campbell said.

“That’s very positive. There’s now political promises [that say] ‘we’re not going to let go of PAQ,’” Campbell said.

At the same time, the PAQ will gain an Inuit street case worker, thanks to a $40,000 donation from the Makivvik Corp. announced by its president, Jobie Tukkiapik, on Oct. 4.

“The signing of this partnership agreement with Makivvik greatly enhances PAQ’s objectives,” the PAQ’s president, Joey Saganash, said in a press release.

The release goes on to say that Makivvik is determined to prevent Inuit homelessness and to help Inuit adjust to life in the city.

The new case worker will help the shelter deal more effectively with Inuit and help them to find appropriate services in the city, Campbell said.

“Often times the people here feel very uncomfortable going by themselves,” she said. “This can be someone who can be the bridge between larger Montreal services and the people at PAQ.”

The PAQ shelter holds 40 beds and helps about 300 regular clients over the course of a year. While Campbell says more people need its services, the shelter still “has enough beds for everybody.”

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