Ottawa is contributing $3.6 million to help purchase a new property for Resilience Montreal, an organization that offers day centre services to the homeless population that gathers in Cabot Square.
The organization was inaugurated in November 2019, just a few months before the pandemic steamrolled through the province. When the government began shutting down the economy in March to slow the spread of COVID-19, Resilience quickly became a service hub for those living on Montreal’s streets.
Now, Ottawa is recognizing that yearlong effort, and its contribution is in addition to the $3 million Quebec promised the group a couple of weeks ago.
On top of all that, private donors have contributed about $1.5 million to help cover operating costs.
Resilience Montreal caters largely to Indigenous people, who account for about 10 per cent of the city’s entire homeless population.
“Thanks to these funds, Indigenous people experiencing homelessness will be able to access culturally appropriate services that will directly meet their needs, such as safe and warm food and rest,” said Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller.
The organization now serves about 1,000 meals per day while offering services such as showers, access to laundry machines and help connecting with local resources.
Nakuset is the executive director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, which runs Resilience. She says she welcomes the funding but says more is needed.
She said the $8 million will help establish the organization at a nearby building — an address that remains confidential until the sale is concluded. However, she said, there are still costs — particularly when it comes to providing mental health services to the homeless — that need to be covered.
She said people quickly lose hope if they don’t get sufficient help.
“Being on the street has never been part of the life plan of people who are helped,” said Nakuset.
Official press release concerning $3.6 million from the Federal Government for Resilience 🤯 <a href=”https://t.co/GLAXlfJs2g”>pic.twitter.com/GLAXlfJs2g</a>