Montreal shelter closes its doors but moves outside to help homeless

A Montreal day shelter that caters to the city’s Indigenous homeless people has closed its doors because of the COVID-19 virus.

But that’s not stopping the people who work there from serving their clients.

As the spread of the COVID-19 continues, questions are being asked if Montreal is doing enough for its homeless population.

Montreal’s mayor says she is declaring a state of emergency to help authorities better manage the spread of COVID-19 among the city’s homeless.

Valerie Plante says the declaration gives the city other powers, such as the ability to spend money more easily as well as the authority to order police and firefighters to enforce public health directives.

She says new homeless shelters with a reduced number of beds to prevent the spread of the virus should open in the coming days, as should a series of day centres where homeless people can rest.

Plante says she made the declaration on advice from Quebec’s director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda.

Producer Nouvelles Nationales d'APTN - Montreal

Born and raised in Montreal, Tom cut his teeth working in community television in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory before joining APTN as a cameraman/editor in 2008. In 2015 he was promoted to Video Journalist. Since 2019 Tom has been a producer for the French weekly newscast Nouvelles Nationales d’APTN.