August 3 2015
SHDM and Accueil Bonneau, Join Forces to Provide Quality Housing Geared Toward Social Reintegration
To meet the very wide variety of housing needs among Montréal's population, the SHDM has delegated the management of nearly 2300 housing units and over 300 rooms to non-profit organizations whose mission is to support various clienteles. Résidence Eugénie-Bernier, one of the SHDM's properties, which has been managed by Accueil Bonneau since 1992, is an illustration of the relevance of this type of partnership.
From Accueil Bonneau's standpoint, obtaining a quality, well-located building from property owners is a challenge in itself. In fact, the prejudices faced by itinerants hinders owners in their will to welcome this population. And yet, this particular housing need is a crucial one. As for the SHDM, meeting the housing needs of Montréal's itinerants requires social integration efforts that it can carry out only with the extensive expertise of psycho-social professionals. Partner organization Accueil Bonneau makes it possible to efficiently respond to this need.
"We work really well with the SHDM," explained Daniel Joly, technical housing services coordinator for the five buildings managed by Accueil Bonneau, two of which are owned by the SHDM. "They see what we're doing, they understand our needs and they also see that we're taking care of the building." As owner, the SHDM ensures the sustainability of the built heritage and the quality of the living environment, by investing in major renovations there. Recently, all the windows were replaced and the wrought iron at the entrance to the residence was restored. Over and above its property management, the SHDM also takes financial risks in order to carry out projects targeting a clientele with special needs—risks that Accueil Bonneau is unable to shoulder itself.
Résidence Eugénie-Bernier, nestled in the heart of the Latin Quarter, welcomes males age 25 and over who are ready to abandon their itinerant lifestyle to head along the road toward social reintegration. The tenants pay a monthly rent ranging from $300 to $350 and agree to comply with the building rules. Located near various services and its parent organization—Accueil Bonneau, this residence makes it possible for its tenants, some of whom have lived in the streets for 20 years, to ease their way into taking an enormous step. The four-storey building has 52 rooms. The bathrooms and washrooms on each floor are shared. A community room provides access to a television, a library, a computer and the Internet as well as a place to get together and talk, where activities and workshops led by social workers are held. This arrangement creates a vital community life in these men's progression toward social reintegration. "What kills our fellows is isolation," warns Daniel Joly. "Here, they find a good balance between autonomy and social life." Pierre Richard, a tenant of this residence for the past four years, proudly confirms the community spirit of the premises: "I know everyone here. I think there is only one other person on my floor who has lived here longer than I have!"
The SHDM, which specializes in responsible realty, is proud of this partnership that has been doing well for over 20 years and it wishes to thank and congratulate Accueil Bonneau's team on its outstanding work.
About Accueil Bonneau
Established in Montréal in 1877, Accueil Bonneau offers a vast range of services aimed at facilitating the residential stability and social reintegration of those who are—or are at risk of becoming—itinerants. Accueil Bonneau is the first and second responder in helping itinerants, in order to provide them with shelter and also the independence needed for their social inclusion in order to improve their quality of life.
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