An exemption from the curfew decree for marginalized communities was demanded on Saturday by the Montreal Network for Single and Homeless Persons (RAPSIM).
• Read also: Safe havens for outbreaks: Legault urged to exempt homeless people from curfew
The community organization has observed several damages since the curfew was enforced in the province, and more particularly with regard to the health and safety of people experiencing homelessness.
“For many, the reasons for being outside after 8 p.m., despite the curfew, are numerous: not having a place to take shelter, not wanting to contract COVID in a shelter, needing the services of a supervised injection site (SIS), fleeing violence, etc. ”, Joannie Veilleux, community organizer at RAPSIM, said in a press release.
Since the start of this health measure, homeless people have been hiding and isolating themselves to avoid suffering any form of repression, according to RAPSIM street workers.
However, five reports of offenses for non-compliance with curfew instructions were given in less than a week to people experiencing homelessness in Montreal.
And several cases of brutality have also been reported to the community organization.
“Organizations need public health support and additional funds, not a curfew that adds more pressure, stress and work to already overworked and exhausted teams,” concluded Ms. Veilleux.
As of January 13, nearly 116 homeless people and 58 employees of the organization have tested positive for COVID-19.
Figures that do not reflect the scale of the situation, while screening of these individuals is insufficient according to RAPSIM.
A petition sponsored by PQ member Véronique Hivon was tabled in the National Assembly for the implementation of this exemption.