[Hpn] Where did all the money go !!!!
Sat, 08 Oct 2005 15:08:56 +0000
After receiving millions $ from the Canadian federal government, The Old
Brewery is cutting services.
The Montreal Gazette, October 7, 2005
FREE COFFEE FIRST CASUALTY IN BATTLE TO CURB MISSION'S $864,000 DEFICIT
It's part of the new order of things at the Old Brewery Mission - no more
A month ago, the mission on Clark St. began offering patrons free tea with
their meal, while charging 65 cents for a cup of java.
It's all part of a program to cut burgeoning costs as Quebec's biggest
shelter for the homeless faces a deficit of $864,000 for the fiscal year
ending in March.
But the mission is not about to turn away the city's hungry and homeless,
executive director James Hughes said yesterday.
'There is no risk the Old Brewery Mission is going to close its doors -
zero-per-cent chance', Hughes told concerned staffers.
The mission, founded in 1889, served 271,408 meals last year and offered
beds to 458 people a night at three pavillions.
A total of 336 men bed down every night at its main pavilion on Clark St.
near St. Antoine St. and seven to nine employees are needed overnight to
ensure the environment remains safe and secure.
The mission has had deficits for the past five years, but has managed to
absorb them by dipping into a special reserve fund that in the late 1990s
totalled bout $5 million in investments and savings.
Now, facing the increased number of patrons and the higher costs that winter
brings, the mission is awaiting a reply from the Quebec government to a
request to increase its per-client grant of $8.58 for 150 of the 458 beds it
offers homeless men and women. The mission's fundraising efforts cover the
cost of the remaining 308 beds.
The per-client cost to the mission is $24.28 a night. Donations from such
traditional supporters as the Molson Foundation, the J.WcConnell Foundation,
the R.B. Webster Foundation, Imperial Tobacco and other contributors have
The mission took over the 150 beds for the homeless that the city of
Montreal had operated at its Dernier Recours hostel on Sanguinet St. That
shelter closed n 1991.
The Old Brewery's projected deficit is just slightly less than the
additional cost to finance these beds.
The city of Montreal has refused to add to its $100,000 annual grant, but is
ready to help press Quebec to increase its commitment, city hall
spokesperson Darren Becker said.
In July, the mission explained the problem to Margaret Delisle, the
provincial minister responsible fo rehabilitation, but is still waiting for
a response. Delisle will reply 'before winter sets in,' her spokesperson,
Nathalie Gélinas, said from Quebec City.
In the meantime, the mission will not reduce the quality of food but will
look at cutting the number of beds and the number of meals it serves.
About 100 people are employed at the mission's main pavilion, women's
shelter and the Maison Roger Beaulieu transition house.
They make between $8.58 and $15.70 an hour.
The mission also runs Camp Chapleau, offering 700 women and children from
poor families a vacation in the country.
It also operates a bus that offers hot soup to street people.
You can write Irwin Block at