«Women who experience homelessness are invisible. They’re rarely spoken about and, unfortunately, the number of homeless women is increasing.»
A total of $307,030 for vulnerable and homeless women in Montreal was raised at an Old Brewery Mission fundraiser, Mission pour elles.
The event, held May 7 at Club Soda, was chaired by Christiane Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels and Johanne Berry, co-founder of Berry, Guilbault & Associés.
“Women who experience homelessness are invisible, Germain said. “They’re rarely spoken about and, unfortunately, the number of homeless women is increasing.”
The Mission’s Patricia Mackenzie Pavilion for women, focused on helping homeless women reintegrate into society, welcomed 600 women in need last year — 301 of them for the first time.
Among the 200 guests at the fundraiser were Marie-Josée Coutu, president of the Marcelle & Jean Coutu Foundation, former Quebec premier Pierre Marc Johnson, and Suzie Miron, associate adviser to the executive committee of the city of Montreal for water, infrastructures and status of women.
The evening recognized the generosity of the Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation, which made possible the Mission’s Maison des voisines de Lanaudière in Plateau Mont-Royal. Opened since last November, it features 10 units in a renovated residential building intended to provide a sense of community.
“Our vision is to provide a normal, homelike and dignified living environment to women who are in the process of reclaiming their rightful place in the community — and to do so in a community environment outside of our already overcrowded emergency services,” said Florence Portes, the Old Brewery Mission’s director of women’s services,
A brief video featuring three women whose lives were changed by the Women’s Services at the Old Brewery Mission was shown at the event.
Sponsors for the event include AIMTA, the Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, Hôtel Square Phillips, Power Corporation of Canada, the Liverant Family, Vins Philippe Dandurand, the National Bank of Canada, Bell, Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc., Sanimax and Secrétariat à la condition féminine.
The Old Brewery Mission, founded in 1889, is the largest resource in Quebec for homeless men and the largest in Canada for homeless women. It provides programs and services designed to end chronic homelessness, including enhanced emergency services, health, housing and psycho-social support services. It also features research and public awareness initiatives that contribute to a better understanding of homelessness as a social problem that can be solved.