Feds chip in so Montreal day shelter can acquire a new home

‘It is both tremendous news and a relief,’ says director for Resilience Montreal

Nakuset, the director of development and philanthropy for Resilience Montreal, welcomes Monday’s announcement that Ottawa will give the service organization $3.6 million to help buy a permanent home for a downtown wellness centre serving a mainly Indigenous clientele. (Screen shot from Indigenous Services announcement)

By Nunatsiaq News

A Montreal day shelter has secured $3.6 million for a community wellness centre serving homeless Inuit, First Nations and Métis in the city’s downtown.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller made the announcement Monday.

The amount matches $3.6 million the Quebec government recently gave to Resilience Montreal – $3 million on Feb. 22 and $600,000 last December.

The announcement is “both tremendous news and a relief,” said Nakuset, the director of development and philanthropy for Resilience Montreal.

Right now, Resilience Montreal is temporarily housed in a former sushi restaurant near Cabot Square at the corner of Atwater and Ste-Catherine streets.

But the organization wants to purchase and renovate an $8-million building in the same neighbourhood.

“I’m very pleased that with this funding, this project is finally going to happen,” said Miller during the announcement.

Resilience Montreal, established in 2019, serves about 150 clients at its drop-in day shelter near Cabot Square, a gathering spot for many Inuit, First Nations and Métis residents in downtown Montreal.

There, the day shelter dishes up more than 1,000 meals a day and operates a 16-person warming tent.

Foundations — including the Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation, the Pathy Family Foundation, the McConnell Foundation and the Greater Montreal Foundation — have committed an additional $1.5 million over three years to support the cost of Resilience Montreal’s operations.

The new wellness centre will provide services tailored to Indigenous clients, who comprise about 40 per cent of the homeless population in that area.

The centre will be open 365 days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and, in addition to meeting basic needs, will aim to provide personal development classes, haircuts and manicures, substance abuse counselling and a resource centre.

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