On March 18, 2020, the pandemic forced us to suspend admissions to the Refuge in order to limit access to Maison du Père to one same group of individuals, and to reduce the number of users in the dormitories in order to respect the social distancing standards recommended by public health.
Thus, the 194 men present at the Refuge that evening had the privilege of keeping their beds until the emergency measures were lifted, if they respected the rules of behaviour, hygiene and social distancing.
Over the following weeks, beds became available. For the first time, the Refuge response team was working with a fixed, smaller group. This situation enabled them to deepen their intervention and find solutions with users so that they can enjoy better living conditions.
In 3 months, 28 people found accommodation or were taken in by a family member.
For years, Maison du Père has focused its energies on the development of projects related to residential stabilization with support for people experiencing homelessness. The pandemic has only strengthened our resolve to maintain this trend. This is why the traditional Refuge was transformed, last July, into a center of reception and accommodation for referrals (the Centre d’accueil et d’hébergement en référencement, or CAHR).
We have kept some of the dormitory beds for emergency accommodation needs, but the majority of them (96) are now dedicated to homeless men who agree to engage in a process of social reintegration and residential stability.
They must also be involved in a technical activity of the House: food service, housekeeping, laundry, etc. This represents a first step to socially reintegrate.
Participants in the CAHR program have a social worker to support them in their efforts. They also benefit from all the services to meet their basic needs for a period of 4 months (accommodation, meals, hygiene care, clothing, etc.).
At the end of this period, they will have chosen their stabilization plan: integrate a social reintegration program from Maison du Père or another organization; integrate a retirement home or a long-term care center; integrate housing with or without supervision, etc.
Because every street should have an exit…