Photo by: AKidd
I always notice and sometimes greets them walking on Ave Mont Royal. They sit or stand the same place; the guy with his dog in front of the pet store, the lady with the big winter boots outside the SAQ and the man who plays with his cap. But they are not always on the street.
As I wrote earlier in A Dane wondering, I have been thinking about where the homeless people on Ave Mont Royal go in night or when it gets cold or wet and how the social system takes care of them compared to the Danish social system. Just to make it clear I base my wonder about the homeless on the assumption that these people on Ave Mont Royal are in fact homeless, I don’t know if they are just begging for money and going home to an apartment.
In Denmark there are about 5.000 homeless people, in most cases these people have the opportunity the be helped by the social services, but since 69 percent of them are addicted to alcohol, hash, narcotics and/or medicine and 30 percent suffer from mental illness they do not always get the help. And therefore they end up on the streets, homeless (of cause for some it is a way of living).
As I tried to find out where the homeless go to sleep, eat, and keep warm in Montreal I stumbled upon this webpage that offers interesting insight in the lives of homeless people in Canada. On the webpage it says accurate stats are hard to get, but estimations would be that there is anywhere from 10.000 to 30.000 people in the city without a fixed address.
To me that really seems like a lot, when you take into consideration that Montreal has 3.5 million inhabitants against the 5.5 million people in Denmark. I didn’t manage to find out why Montreal has such a big share of homeless (“address less”) people, from the webpage it seem as if there was a lot of places to go to sleep, eat and keep warm. So I didn’t get the impression that Montreal doesn’t care, but perhaps I’m wrong?