Marginalized and vulnerable, the homeless are often seen as everything we do not want to be. We are afraid both as a society and as individuals to consider the possibility of homelessness.
Many factors contribute to homelessness: poverty; inability to pay rent; stress associated with job loss; family crisis; drug or alcohol abuse; gambling addiction and frequently, mental illness. No one is guaranteed shelter from the threat of homelessness.
With approximately 30,000 homeless people living in the Montreal region, representing a number greater than the seating capacity of the Bell Centre, the need to help the homeless is pressing. The homeless come from varying language, ethnic and social groups. Most have suffered major economic upheaval:
- 80% have been abandoned by their families
- 30% of men and 80 % of women have mental health issues
- 60% have drug related or various other dependencies
Since 1889, Montrealers have counted on the Old Brewery Mission to provide emergency services for the most vulnerable men and women of our society – the homeless.