A difficult period for the homeless

Une période difficile pour les itinérants

The last few months have been very difficult for many vulnerable people, in particular because of the pandemic of COVID-19.

If although, there is an increase in makeshift shelters in the city of Quebec.

Among those affected, there is Steve, who lives just a makeshift shelter.

In survival mode the last few months have been very difficult, ” he admits.

“Nobody wants to approach us. There is no more money, no more, no more cans to pick up the money to eat out because it costs us 75 cents to eat. Squares, it is 1 piastre, 1 piastre and a half,” says Steve.

In spite of everything, he is grateful to the “good world when even that [it] leaves food on the sidewalk”.

But unfortunately, Steve is not the only one.

Street workers have noticed an increase of people experiencing homelessness since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Me, I have rarely seen such a situation. What is new is the elements precipitating, the basic needs have exploded. It’s as if it had been power of 10 since the time of the crisis,” says Mario Gagnon, general director Point of benchmarks.

The needs are therefore growing and the resources are overwhelmed.

“Water, points for people to go for their needs, among other things, the camps. There are a lot of people who find themselves, at the present time, in a situation of vulnerability, where the basic needs are there. We started to distribute the food significantly, what was not done before,” says Mr. Gagnon.

For roaming, it is difficult to find a roof, the shelters being full.

“Yes, but there is no place,” says Steve when asked if he attended Lauberivière sometimes.

The director of the shelter, Éric Boulay, confirms that the institution is “almost always at 100%”.

The street therefore becomes the only option and the camps do sounds not necessarily welcome.

“Like there they are, they will tolerate a bit, but it made no noise not more; it is nothing that sleep. As soon as it makes a noise, or that the police just once, it is sure that they will evict us. They will all break. They leave me nothing to pick up” laments Steve.

To meet the demand, Lauberivière will re-open 15 additional beds as soon as Monday. They will be available 24 hours on 24, 7 days on 7.

This will therefore be the first resource of the day accommodation in the region of Quebec.

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