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WOMEN’S HOMELESSNESS

A Beacon for Vulnerable Women

Chez Doris is the only day shelter for women in difficulty in Montreal open seven days a week. Since December 1st 2020, our organization also began operating at night to offer temporary emergency overnight shelter to meet growing demand, and now offers 24-hour assistance. More than a hundred women find comfort at Chez Doris every day and benefit from a multitude of services designed to meet their basic needs and make their lives easier – nutritious meals, food baskets, access to showers, clothing, activities, support, and assistance programs. During our 2020-2021 fiscal year, Chez Doris welcomed 875 unique homeless women and served 29,528 meals.

Chez Doris acts as a formidable support network that allows vulnerable women to break through their isolation and escape their daily problems.

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Our Clientele

The average age of our clients is 55 years old. Francophones, Anglophones, Indigenous, as well as women from diverse ethnic communities, come to us for help with problems related to financial insecurity, discrimination, immigration, mental illness, drug addiction, and violence.

Among them:

  • 85% suffer from mental health and addiction issues;
  • 20% to 30% are homeless;
  • 50% have experienced homelessness in the past.
At Chez Doris, women benefit from a personalized intervention plan based on their individual circumstances. Our experienced caseworkers take the time to listen to them in order to address their specific needs and design an appropriate support plan to help them rebuild their lives

OUR VISION

Through our day programs and services, we establish a bond of trust with our clientele. While our temporary emergency aid measures are a welcome addition, they alone will not be enough to offset the increase in demand seen since the start of the pandemic.

Many homeless women have nowhere to go at night other than the streets, bus shelters and parks. In addition to suffering from extreme temperatures in winter, many homeless women living on the streets become victims of violence, sexual assault and face premature death.

Helping Women Step out of the Shadows

To help women overcome homelessness, increase their independence, and live in safety with dignity, we firmly believe that the solution lies in access to permanent affordable housing with support services.

In order to offer a continuum of services, day and night, Chez Doris has developed an expansion plan that includes two projects:

  • A new permanent overnight shelter for women providing 22 emergency beds (opening scheduled for 2022);
  • A new permanent residence for women offering 26 affordable rental units with support services (opening scheduled for 2022).

OUR EXPANSION PLAN

Addressing Homelessness 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year

PROJECT 1: 22 Emergency Overnight Beds, Downtown Montreal

A major donation allowed us to purchase a downtown rowhouse, located just a few steps from our day shelter. This building will be converted into an emergency overnight shelter and will provide 22 beds, bathrooms, a laundry room, a dining room, a kitchenette, a sobering-up room and a multipurpose room.

Built in 1870, this three-storey house requires major renovations to convert it into a shelter and to meet building codes as well as add an extension with an elevator for our clientele with reduced mobility. Once completed, this new shelter will provide a safe and welcoming environment where psychosocial services will be provided along with emergency beds.

Project 2: 26 Affordable Studios for Rent, de Champlain Street, Montreal

In order to meaningfully address the problem of homelessness and help women facing housing insecurity, Chez Doris and the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM) have teamed up to launch a residential project that will provide affordable dwellings for 26 vulnerable women along with accompanying psychosocial services.

Chez Doris will select the tenants and manage the building, which will remain the property of the SHDM. Tenants will be eligible for subsidies from the Office municipal de l’habitation de Montréal, and their rent will be set at a maximum of 25% of their income.

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Chez Doris, Day and Night

In order to successfully launch and operate these two new points of service, Chez Doris has embarked on its largest fundraising campaign to date: Chez Doris, Day and Night.

Campaign Objective: $15M (with $10M to come from foundation, corporate, and individual donations)

The campaign will fund the necessary construction and renovation costs, the purchase of furniture, equipment and accessories, as well as operating costs for the first five years.

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Chez Doris must also raise funds to cover costs associated with our housing program including the support services of full-time caseworkers.

“Today, we are committed to providing more resources for women in difficulty, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But we can’t do it alone. Together, let’s help homeless and vulnerable women step out of the shadows, day and night.” –Message from the Campaign Co-Chairs