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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

West Island Shelter, Drop-in Warming Center Opening

Just in time for the frigid winter season, the West Island Shelter / Warming Center opens it's doors to the community's most vulnerable population! The shelter will welcome people who are homeless and experiencing residential instability throughout the winter months. This is the first shelter of it's kind on the West Island of Montreal.

Thanks to the joint effort of Action Jeunesse de l’Ouest-de-l’Île (AJOI) and Ricochet (Hébergement/Homes) the official opening of the first West Island Shelter / Drop-In Warming Center is Friday, December 18th, 2020! The doors are open 7 days a week from 11 pm to 7 am. Before January 4th, the doors will be able to open earlier from 7 pm to 8 am.

The Drop-in Warming Center is located in Pierrefonds-Roxboro at 5100 avenue Château-Pierrefonds.

The West Island Drop-in Warming Center will remain open to those in need of shelter until March 31st, 2021.

For several years now, the need for emergency accommodation has become alarming in Montreal’s West Island. This drop-in shelter represents a significant step towards a short-term housing service and will greatly help people in need in the West Island. With winter on the doorstep, the shelter will allow citizens in need to keep warm amidst the cold weather. This initiative is made possible thanks to funding provided by the federal Reaching Home program ($154,000), financial support from the City of Montreal ($50,000), as well support from Centraide of Greater Montreal through the COVID-19 emergency funds ($45,000).

The basics of the Drop-In Shelter The shelter will accommodate between 10 and 15 people every night for the four coldest months of winter. Specifically, the shelter will provide five beds, a place to eat, drink, shower, rest and of course warm up. Users will also have access to a clothing cleaning service, emergency clothing (coats, scarfs, etc.) and a computer to use the internet. All are welcome and pets will be accepted. In addition, specific rooms for women and young people will be offered. Two employees will always be on site in order to respond adequately to the targeted population and operate the AJOI-Mobile.

A word from our partners "AJOI is a vital resource for youth at risk in our West Island community — a veritable lifeline. I am very pleased that the federal government is contributing through the Reaching Home housing program to this dynamic organization's vision for expanding its support for youth in need, especially at this challenging time." Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia, Member of Parliament for Lac St-Louis.

"The new heat station put in place in Montreal's West Island is part of the winter measures rolled out in a joint effort by the healthcare network, the Ville de Montreal and community organizations. This plan is of unprecedented scope this year, in order to adequately meet the needs of homeless people across city territory. Their needs have become increasingly pressing since the beginning of the pandemic. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to AJOI and Ricochet, two organizations committed to supporting the most vulnerable members of our community during this difficult period," stated Nathalie Goulet, executive committee member responsible for social inclusion, sports, recreation, the status of women, homelessness and youth.

"The CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal is very pleased to welcome this new resource on its territory. This is another initiative that will allow us to better meet the needs of vulnerable people during the winter period. AJOI is an exceptional partner who works closely with our teams on the field. The CIUSSS ODIM intends to continue its collaboration within the framework of this project" Lynne McVey, CEO of the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île.

"I am once again delighted and proud to see that a local organization, AJOI, is bringing the whole community together to help those in need. I would like to thank the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île for allowing the use of a healthcare facility in my borough to provide emergency housing for the homeless. I recognize in this operation the spirit and generosity of the West Island with the arrival of the cold weather and the holiday season," said Dimitrios (Jim) Beis, Mayor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough.

"I am proud that AJOI will be responsible for the management of this homeless shelter! They are well equipped and well informed about the issues facing the homeless and disadvantaged populations of the West Island. It is important that we protect this community and help them feel secure during this season." Monsef Derraji, Deputy of Nelligan."

Despite the appearance of a very advantageous social situation, the West Island conceals a reality in which 17,525 young people from 0 to 34 years old (18% of young people) live in areas of social and / or material deprivation," informs the AJOI website.

To increase the impact of the drop-in shelter, please share this information so that together we can help as many people as possible during this difficult period.

For more information, contact the project manager Caroline Turpin-Emond at 438-828-2617 or by email at .

"If you are homeless, whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact an AJOI street outreach worker, who can help you find a safe place that is suitable for your needs," according to Ricochet's website.

If you are able to donate to ensure this Warming Center continues to function as intended, you may do so to Ricochet here or directly to AJOI here.

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