Saint-Jérôme, November 29, 2022 – With the help of a donation from Desjardins, a new La Hutte emergency shelter will soon be opening its doors in Quebec's Laurentian region. Although more funding is still needed, the $1.2 million donation will make a real difference in the region, where there's an urgent need to help people without housing get back on their feet.
"To pull off such a big initiative on such a short timeline, it takes cooperation from a lot of different people," said François Savoie, Executive Director of La Hutte. "When the CISSS, Quebec's health and social services network, came to us in December 2021, we weren't aware of just how critical the situation was. Once we saw what was going on, there was simply no way we weren't going to do something. Our mission is to help people as quickly as possible, with compassionate support rooted in best practices. We're thrilled we can count on Desjardins to help us deliver on that."
"This major donation from our GoodSpark Fund is further proof of our engagement in our communities, our understanding of their needs and our desire to help them thrive," said Desjardins President and CEO Guy Cormier. "Our donation will contribute to a much-needed initiative for the region. The new shelter will be a full-service operation, not only helping people with their immediate needs, but also providing support services as part of a holistic approach to social reintegration."
Responding to a real community need
According to the Laurentian region CISSS, the initiative responds to a need identified by consultations with interministerial, cross-sector and community stakeholders over the past 2 years. A recent analysis performed as part of a formal mapping of the shelter and housing system in the Laurentians, as well as issues identified in the region's official housing plan, highlight the importance of having transitional beds, long-term recovery beds and supervised apartments in order to support the reintegration process.
"With the arrival of La Hutte, the large dormitory in the Saint-Jérôme church is being transformed. In a few weeks, it will be a shelter offering more than just emergency services," said Rosemonde Landry, President and Executive Director of the Laurentian CISSS.
"The range of services will include the addition of targeted support programs tailored to the needs of the men and women who come to the shelter seeking help. The goal of this innovative service offering is to support people and help them develop the resources they need to move off the streets."
"The positive impact of this donation will be felt for years to come," said MNA for Saint-Jérôme Youri Chassin. "By supporting this great organization, Desjardins is helping to provide a place where people can find hope, form new connections and make a lasting transition out of homelessness and poverty. The staff at La Hutte use proven practices that are perfectly in line with the areas of focus in the Quebec government's interministerial action plan: cross-sector coordination, support services and social reintegration. As MNA for Saint-Jérôme, I'm well aware of how much this is needed, and I want to thank Desjardins for this amazing gesture."
La Hutte is continuing to raise funds for the construction of its new emergency shelter. To donate, go to lahutte.org/dons or call 450-471-4664.
Since La Hutte began operating in Saint-Jérôme in April 2022:
- 188 people have found housing or a room to rent
- 71 have returned to stay with family or friends
- 94 have found jobs and 103 have begun receiving last-resort financial assistance benefits
- 198 have received healthcare and support for mental health needs
- 54 have been referred to a psychiatrist for support
- 39 have begun an addiction treatment program
- 9 have been transferred to a facility for serious and persistent mental health issues
About La Hutte
La Hutte is a shelter for women and men experiencing homelessness. Since 2003, it has been supporting people in need in the Lanaudière region by providing a wide range of shelter services, with the goal of helping them make a lasting transition off the streets. Since April 1, 2022, La Hutte has also been providing emergency shelter and support services in the Laurentian region.
For more information:
Caisse Desjardins de la Rivière-du-Nord
450-436-5335, ext. 7186222