Need more staff for possible COVID-19 isolation facilities for the homeless in Montreal – Montreal
The Chrome Hotel in downtown Montreal operates as an isolation center for the homeless population and has been inundated with new residents since it opened on December 30, 2021.
“Since January 1, the number has approached 500 people. So the numbers are really very significant over a fairly short period of time, ”said James Hughes, CEO and President of the Old Brewery Mission.
According to Hughes, the 125 beds at the Chrome Hotel are full. The Old Brewery Mission manages the hotel – the only facility the city has requisitioned to house homeless people with COVID-19.
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“We are not equipped to do this in the shelter environment. These are communal environments, cafeterias, dormitories, etc. So it’s really a place where a virus can spread very quickly, very quickly, ”Hughes said.
The Chrome Hotel can add 25 additional beds. Additional isolation facilities such as the Traveler’s Shelter Hotel are available. They just need staff.
“The military is distributing vaccines right now or helping with vaccination clinics. Do not hesitate to send soldiers to do the bare minimum in these places, ”said Nakuset, executive director of the Refuge for Native Women of Montreal.
She fears the current lack of isolation facilities may leave families with nowhere to go.
“Chrome is just for, you know, singles as opposed to families. This is not the right installation, ”Nakuset said.
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There is also a lack of space in shelters. Welcome Hall Mission CEO and Chairman Sam Watts said the nonprofit organization’s three facilities were full overnight.
“The temperature is just another aggravating factor on top of a whole host of health issues we have right now,” he told Global News.
Watts and Nakuset wonder why more has not been done to help the homeless population.
“It’s a bit of a shame that this plane hasn’t already been built and is sort of being built as we move forward here,” Watts said.
Nakuset asks, “Why hasn’t there been something in place for almost a year since Rafael’s death for the homeless population?” In reference to the homeless man who died in the cold last winter.
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