The Société de développement social (SDS), in collaboration with the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), is proud to announce that service points for the homeless in five downtown métro stations have been renewed. The extended partnership will make it possible to go on responding to the growing needs of the homeless taking shelter inside the métro.
Montréal, January 17, 2016 – The Société de développement social (SDS), in collaboration with the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), is proud to announce that service points for the homeless in five downtown métro stations have been renewed. The extended partnership will make it possible to go on responding to the growing needs of the homeless taking shelter inside the métro.
« Aware of the issues raised by the homeless in the métro, the STM decided, as early as 2012, to be pro-active and find a real solution to meeting the needs of homeless people, while ensuring optimum conditions for sharing space with transit users. And with that came the first such service point for the homeless. Five years later, it has become the standard for the STM and a model for other transit networks in North America. We are very proud to have helped build up this program together and to continue with our efforts for another three years », explained Émile Roux, SDS director general.
« Building on our success these past years, this agreement represents a renewed opportunity for us to pursue our efforts with the most vulnerable of people who wander in the métro network. Indeed, homelessness is a complex social phenomenon that involves many stakeholders throughout society, for which responsibility is also shared. Setting up the Pair aidant program is a prime example of added value, brought upon by the synergy between different stakeholders in the community », added Philippe Schnobb, chairman of STM’s board of directors.
« Improving cohabitation between métro riders and the homeless is one of the actions set out in Montréal’s 2014-2017 action plan to combat homelessness. The establishment of the first service point for the homeless in 2012 has done much to improve the situation for them. The city of Montréal is pleased to learn the program will continue its work and produce tangible results over the next three years », stated Denis Coderre, mayor of Montréal.
Service points for the homeless: a few numbers
Service points for the homeless (PSI) operate in five métro stations in downtown Montréal to assist persons who are homeless. Since it was first established, more than 5000 interventions were carried out by the services team composed of four social workers and a coordinator. Among other things, these interventions have led to some 400 homeless being referred to community resources at their disposal in Montréal and receiving various services adapted to their needs.
Furthermore, from December 1 to April 1, a shuttle service is also provided, in collaboration with Old Brewery Mission (OBM), from Bonaventure station to take any willing homeless person to available shelters. STM inspectors accompany the OBM worker to encourage those inside the station to take advantage of this service. Since the service began in 2013, more than 1000 persons have ridden the shuttle to shelter.
The Pair aidant program
Launched in 2016 with an initial pilot project, the Pair aidant program enables someone who has lived on the street to accompany social workers and speak about their life experience and how they’ve overcome it, to give hope, serve as a model others can identify with, and provide inspiration, support and information to the homeless people they come across in the métro. Prompted by the success of the pilot, the program will maintain its activities for the duration of the next agreement with new Pair aidant volunteers.
Link to video presenting the Service points for the homeless: https://youtu.be/mgWS8UWhFZs
About the SDS
Since 2008, the SDS has taken action as the premier broker for social values in North America. By bringing together private enterprise with non-profit organizations, it develops tangible projects that help combat poverty and homelessness.
Société de développement social
Isabelle A. Tremblay
Société de transport de Montréal
Ville de Montréal
Attachée de presse
Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif