For Immediate release

Helping women in need

Old Brewery Mission turning abandoned building at 1301 de Maisonneuve East into women's shelter

(Montreal September 24, 1997) -- The Old Brewery Mission today unveiled plans to transform a former garage located at 1301 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East into a new women's shelter. According to Ron E. Lawless, Vice President of the Old Brewery Mission Board of Directors, "Similarly to other organizations in the Montreal area, we've witnessed a dramatic rise in the number of women knocking on our door for help. Many women are experiencing a serious, if not critical, situation. As our present capacity to help is limited, we are in the process of creating a new facility especially for homeless women".

The new shelter will accommodate a total of 84 women. The four-story building will be converted as follows:

      1st floor:  welcome area and dining room
      2nd floor: dormitory for single-night stays for 30 women
      3rd floor: dormitory for 37 women
      4th floor: single, double and triple occupancy rooms

The building's top two stories will be reserved for women who need temporary residency to allow them the necessary time to regroup. The plans also call for common, multi-purpose rooms to be located on every floor. The work will be carried out by the architectural firm of Fournier Gersovitz Moss under the direction of Julia Gersovitz.

The new facility will provide numerous services ranging from temporary lodging to a social reintegration program. For example, women will be given assistance in obtaining identification cards and will have a mailing address for receiving social aid benefits. They will also have access to medical and social services provided in cooperation with the CLSC des Faubourgs. Residents will also be able to register for the PAIE program of the Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité du Québec, which enables people to gain work experience while supplementing their social aid income.

The Old Brewery Mission set us a 10-person coordinating committee for the project, chaired by Board member Andrée Beaulieu. Commenting on the project, Ms. Beaulieu said, "When we were asked to undertake this project we didn't hesitate at all because the need is glaring and urgent. The building and land were generously donated by a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. This donation reflects the generosity of Montrealers, who have always enabled the Mission to carry on its work."  The project is also made possible through the technical and financial support of the Service de l'habitation de la Ville de Montréal et de la Société d'habitation du Québec. The two organizations will contribute a total of $750,000 under the Revitalization of older neighborhoods program.

In order to complete the renovation work, $ 1- million must be raised. The Old Brewery Mission will be launching a special fundraising campaign in the near future.

For more than 108 years, the objective of the Old Brewery Mission has been to care for the needy in Montreal. In addition to the 235 beds and services provided by its Clark Street facility, the Old Brewery Mission operates Maison Roger Beaulieu, a 42-room transition house for people who wish to re-enter the labor market and regain their independence. Since 1906, the Mission has also operated Camp Champleau in the Laurentians, a facility that provides a welcome respite to mothers, children and seniors in need.

For more information as to how you can help with this worthwhile cause, please contact:

            The Old Brewery Mission
            915 Clark St.
            Montreal, Quebec
            H2Z 1J8
            (514) 866-6591

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