In Frigid Temperatures, Montreal Converts Former Hospital Into Pet-Friendly Homeless Shelter

Posted January 24, 2019
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Written by Melissa

It was once the historic Royal Victoria Hospital but it’s new name is Welcome Hall Mission and indeed, men, women, trans people and their pets are all welcome to stay to find some respite from the cold.

Montreal’s newest emergency shelter is an experiment in a joint effort between numerous governmental and community groups. It is operating as an overflow shelter when any of the downtown shelters are at full capacity.

Men and women sleep in separate wings and their pets are able to sleep nearby either tied to rings or in available cages.

A social worker is on-site, as is a defibrillator and naloxone kits to be used in cases of opioid overdoses. The SPCA has also trained security guards to recognize signs that the animals are in distress and how to intervene.

“It’s an experiment, but we think it’s one that is going to work because we’re working with all our partners,” Sam Watts, CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission.

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