Shelter for many of Montreal’s Inuit in a fight for survival

The shelter’s current location was sold to condo developers last spring.

Tom Fennario
APTN News
Annie Roussy-Ste-Croix volunteers at Montreal’s Open Door Shelter when she’s not in class.

The gregarious 18-year-old Inuk wants to a be a paramedic one day.

But she has another good reason to be there.

“My grandmother is over there, at the table,” says Roussy-Ste-Croix.

But the shelter, which acts as the last refuge for many of the city’s Inuit, is in a fight for its survival.

Its current location was sold to condo developers last spring.

It has yet to secure a new location.

The good news is their Jan. 1 deadline has been pushed back.

“Things are beginning to look positive for the future of the Open Door, of course we’re excited about that. There’s still some work to do, but yes we are going to be able to remain past December 31st,” says David Chapman, acting director.

Chapmen wouldn’t divulge any potential new locations, however a nearby spot was nixed in the fall when locals found out and didn’t want it in their backyard.

Roussy-Ste-Croix is resigned to the fact that wherever it does move will be much farther than the current location.

“I’m just disappointed, ’cause this is kind of like home for most people, like everyone hangs around Atwater so it’s more like a home,” she says.

But for now the doors remain open.

And for the people who use it, every day counts.

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.

4 thoughts on “Shelter for many of Montreal’s Inuit in a fight for survival

  1. In Ottawa, many low cost housing places are knocked down and high priced condos are built in their place. Since builders and government stopped building low cost units, this means the stock of low cost housing is shrinking and people are forced to spend more of their scarce dollars on rent, rather than food. More working poor are turning to food banks, and those who run out of money try pay day lenders to get by. Two of my friends went bankrupt using them. Some who get caught up in bills, lose jobs, lose housing, and they become homeless. The shelter is the last resort for them. Losing shelters is catastrophic because there literally is no other place to go. You suddenly are not a member of society, worthy of consideration and kindness, but just trash by the side of the road. So long as there are homeless in Montreal, the citizens should fight to keep the shelters they have, unless they can give them real homes they can afford. “Housing first programs” should be used; and shelters for those who fall through the cracks.

  2. In Ottawa, many low cost housing places are knocked down and high priced condos are built in their place. Since builders and government stopped building low cost units, this means the stock of low cost housing is shrinking and people are forced to spend more of their scarce dollars on rent, rather than food. More working poor are turning to food banks, and those who run out of money try pay day lenders to get by. Two of my friends went bankrupt using them. Some who get caught up in bills, lose jobs, lose housing, and they become homeless. The shelter is the last resort for them. Losing shelters is catastrophic because there literally is no other place to go. You suddenly are not a member of society, worthy of consideration and kindness, but just trash by the side of the road. So long as there are homeless in Montreal, the citizens should fight to keep the shelters they have, unless they can give them real homes they can afford. “Housing first programs” should be used; and shelters for those who fall through the cracks.

  3. Those wealthy condo developers who take over buildings need to share some of their profits to make sure projects like this are able to continue!

  4. Those wealthy condo developers who take over buildings need to share some of their profits to make sure projects like this are able to continue!

Comments are closed.