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Projets autochtones du Québec receives $600 000 for the PAQ House

Press Release

MONTRÉAL, April 4, 2022 – As part of ongoing efforts to combat homelessness among Indigenous peoples, the Québec government is granting $600,000 in financial assistance to Projets Autochtones du Québec (PAQ) to renovate and develop PAQ House, which will offer Indigenous peoples permanent housing and culturally adapted services. The funding, granted through the Assistance for Indigenous peoples living in urban environments – Infrastructures section of the Aboriginal Initiatives Fund III, will create 18 rooms that can house up to 22 Indigenous women, men, and couples. Communal areas and a garden will also be accessible. Five of the 18 rooms will be completely accessible to those with reduced mobility.

PAQ notes that between 20% and 25% of its community members are experiencing chronic homelessness, sometimes for over a decade. As a result, PAQ House was created to help these people, many of whom face barriers to more traditional housing options. The organization has acquired a former guest house and will make carry out the necessary renovations, a project which is estimated to cost $2 million. Once complete, PAQ’s residential managed alcohol will move into the home, allowing for a significant increase in the number of program residents.

Quotes:

“We cannot ignore homelessness. Last year, two homeless Indigenous people in Montréal froze to death, an unimaginable situation in our society. The harsh winters in Montreal have been especially hard on people living on the streets. Last year, we provided financial support to Résilience Montréal, and this year we have committed to helping to fund this project with Projets autochtones du Québec. By supporting the creation of permanent housing establishments, we are providing individuals an opportunity to get off the streets. These investments will have a long-term impact, and it is my hope that they will save the lives of Indigenous peoples who do not have a warm, safe home.”

Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs

“I am concerned about the plight of the homeless. S’allier devant l’itinérance, the action plan we presented a few months ago, was the result of a collaborative effort among community interveners to better serve the homeless. Our administration feels that prevention and guiding strategies within supervised housing are the best way forward. That is why I am so proud to support programs like PAQ House, which will help members of the First Nations and Inuit communities who are experiencing homelessness. I’d like to take this occasion to express my gratitude to PAQ for their vital work.”

Lionel Carmant, Minister for Health and Social Services

“Projets autochtones du Québec thanks the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones for this significant, timely funding that will enable it to renovate its new home, acquired through the Rapid Housing Initiative. This innovative housing project will offer some of the most vulnerable members of Montréal’s Indigenous community a permanent, culturally safe home with a full range of services and 24/7 assistance. Homeless women and men are facing numerous obstacles to finding housing because of addiction and other mental health problems, handicaps, and intergenerational wounds. The renovations will make the garden level fully accessible to mobility-impaired individuals. We will also be able to enhance fire safety in the house and install sprinklers. This will be a transformative project for Montréal’s Indigenous community. We would like to thank the Minister and his staff for their support.”

Heather Johnson, Director General of Projets autochtones du Québec

Highlights:

Projets Autochtones du Québec

  • The organization was founded in 2004 and already offers an overnight shelter service to 12 Indigenous women and 36 Indigenous men.
  • It also offers apartments and studios that enable tenants to transition to housing to avoid returning to homelessness.
  • The organization also offers a residential alcohol consumption management program, services related to the acquisition of life skills and self-esteem, the prevention of precariousness among newcomers to Montréal, psychosocial support, legal aid, and access to health care.

PAQ House

  • PAQ House will offer long-term lodging where the 22 residents can feel at home.
  • The financial assistance that the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones has granted to the PAQ House reflects the spirit of the calls for action of the Public Inquiry Commission on Relations between Indigenous Peoples and Certain Public Services in Québec, including long-term financial support for the services offered in urban environments to homeless Indigenous people.
Relevant links:

www.autochtones.gouv.qc.ca 
www.facebook.com/AutochtonesQc

For further information: Source: Mathieu Durocher, Press Officer, Office of the Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Telephone: 418-805-0233; Information: Antoine Tousignant, Public Affairs Team Leader, Ministère du Conseil exécutif and Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor, Telephone: 418-781-9520, [email protected]

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