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Justice

Homeless, But Part of Society in Montreal

Montreal has a multi-million dollar plan to address homelessness. At the center is social inclusion.
Place Émilie-Gamelin in downtown Montreal is one focus of a $5.9 million action plan for the city's homeless. A main tenet is social inclusion.
Place Émilie-Gamelin in downtown Montreal is one focus of a $5.9 million action plan for the city's homeless. A main tenet is social inclusion.Sophia Chang

When city officials decided to revamp the notoriously drug-ridden Place Émilie-Gamelin in the center of downtown Montreal, they didn’t push out the many homeless people and addicts who live in the park. Instead, they made the park a focal point for the city's efforts to socially integrate for the homeless.

Along with housing and job assistance for the homeless, Montreal has encouraged a philosophy of what city officials call “social inclusion” to bring the homeless into the broader society—a policy that started under former Mayor Denis Coderre and has continued under current Mayor Valérie Plante. In March she announced a three-year, $6 million plan to address homelessness.