SAGUENAY, QC, Dec. 4, 2023 /CNW/ – Andrée Laforest—Quebec’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister Responsible for the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean Region and Member of the National Assembly for Chicoutimi—officially opened the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi on behalf of France-Élaine Duranceau, Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing. The building, located in the former convent of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, has 36 bedrooms and 20 shelter spaces for people experiencing homelessness.
This project, valued at $4.9 million, is spearheaded by the Fondation Monseigneur Léonce Bouchard in association with the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi. It was made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Quebec, which contributed $1.4 million in additional financial assistance. The Government of Canada contributed $1.2 million through the Canada-Quebec Agreement for the second round of the Rapid Housing Initiative.
Tenants could also benefit from the Société d’habitation du Québec’s (SHQ) Rent Supplement Program, ensuring that they would not spend more than 25% of their income on housing. This additional assistance of a little more than $1 million over 5 years is assumed by the SHQ (90%) and the City of Saguenay (10%).
The development work was entrusted to Hébergement Plus. The Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean is also providing financial support to the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi.
“Our efforts to increase the housing supply benefit all clients and regions. I’m very pleased to see that this project will provide housing for people experiencing homelessness. I applaud the work of all the partners who contributed to creating the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi. This project showcases the solidarity of a community that cares about helping those in greatest need. Thanks to all the financial leverage we have to build more housing in Quebec and the flexibility of the benchmarks we’re putting in place, I hope we’ll be able to deliver more projects like this.”
France-Élaine Duranceau, Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing
“The federal government will continue to work hard toward ensuring that everyone in Quebec and across Canada has a safe and stable place to call home. We’re quickly providing new affordable housing to those who need it most across the country thanks to programs like the Rapid Housing Initiative and collaboration from all levels of government.”
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament and our government. From the very start of my political career, providing a new home for Saguenay’s homeless shelter has been a priority. I would like to thank the Fondation Monseigneur Léonce-Bouchard, the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri, the Racine Street merchants and Saguenay’s municipal housing office for their help in making this project a reality. We can be proud of the bedrooms and the welcoming space we are able to provide for the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri’s clientele.”
Andrée Laforest, Quebec Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Minister Responsible for the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean Region and Member of the National Assembly for Chicoutimi
“Homelessness is a fairly recent reality in many regions, including here in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. I, myself, was at the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abris in Chicoutimi this summer, and was able to visit this magnificent facility, fully adapted to the needs of the more vulnerable. Shelter is the key to rehabilitating people who find themselves on the street and getting them back on their feet, and this is a fine example. With winter just around the corner, this inauguration is very timely. First, I’d like to thank the Congregation of the Servantes du Très-Saint-Sacrement for this major donation, and all the project partners for their tremendous work. Long live the Maison!”
Lionel Carmant, Minister responsible for Social Services
“Today, we celebrate the opening of the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri in the former convent of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, at the heart of a strong heritage legacy. With the official opening of the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi, I feel great respect for all stakeholders and volunteers, as well as a profound sense of hope. This announcement reflects our willingness to care for all members of the community and to work together to build a more caring society for all. The fight against homelessness is a shared responsibility, and it is essential that we all play an important role in creating a meaningful and sustainable impact. Today is an example of collaboration that will help provide housing to people experiencing homelessness.”
Julie Dufour, Mayor of the City of Saguenay
“The completion of this major project marks the 30th anniversary of the Fondation Mgr Léonce Bouchard. We are both comforted and proud to have spearheaded this initiative to provide a sustainable and permanent home for the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi. Thanks to the generosity of an entire community as well as the Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, we have preserved an important piece of religious heritage and provided a welcoming and warm place to shelter our most vulnerable.”
Joan Simard, President of the Fondation Monseigneur Léonce Bouchard
“We dreamed of an environment that was better suited, with more space to meet the needs of our increasingly vulnerable population, and that provides a safe, harmonious and welcoming workplace for our dedicated team. We wanted a new space that would allow us to develop new approaches to better support our most vulnerable clients. Today, thanks to exemplary collaboration, our dream has become reality. I offer sincere thanks to all our partners, who were indispensable to the development and realization of this project.”
Marc Brassard, President of the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi
- The building was owned by the nuns of the Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, who were active in Saguenay for 120 years before leaving their convent in Chicoutimi in December 2020. The religious community then donated the convent to the Fondation Monseigneur Léonce Bouchard. The Fondation partnered with the Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi to ensure the management of the building’s approximately 36 bedrooms and 20 shelter spaces for people experiencing homelessness.
- The Fondation Monseigneur Léonce Bouchard brings together four charities: Soupe populaire, Les Fringues, Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri and Atelier de récupération Saint-Joseph.
- The Maison d’accueil pour sans-abri de Chicoutimi is a non-profit organization whose mission is to welcome and assist homeless people experiencing psychosocial disorganization and/or crisis.
- The Fondation Monseigneur Léonce Bouchard invested $1,910,000 in the project.
About the Société d’habitation du Québec
As a leader in housing, the SHQ’s mission is to meet the housing needs of Quebec citizens through its expertise and services. It does this by providing affordable and low-rental housing and offering a range of assistance programs to support the construction, renovation and adaptation of homes, and access to homeownership.
To find out more about its activities, visit www.habitation.gouv.qc.ca/english.html.
About Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
As Canada’s authority on housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
For further information: Sources: Justine Vézina, Press Secretary to the Minister Responsible for Housing, [email protected]; Kevin Collins, Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, [email protected]; Information: Media Relations, Société d’habitation du Québec, [email protected]; Media Relations, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, [email protected]