Soccer stadium to accommodate 150 homeless Montrealers amid COVID-19 crisis

A soccer stadium in Montreal will be transformed to accommodate homeless people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but do not require hospital care.

Quebec Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant, Mayor Valérie Plante, the Red Cross and Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for Montreal, made the announcement Thursday morning.

The site will have 150 beds, which will be split into individual units that will comply with public health guidelines to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Those beds will gradually become available in the coming days.

Quebec’s Health and Social Services Ministry says the project aims to meet the “increased isolation needs” for those who live on the street and have contracted COVID-19. It is also meant to complement the service offered for the homeless population at the old Royal Victoria Hospital.

The places are in addition to those announced Wednesday at the Pierre-Charbonneau Centre in the city’s east end.

The two initiatives mean there will be up to 250 new beds to accommodate homeless Montrealers.

“I want to make sure that no one has to spend the night outside in the weeks to come in the harsh of winter,” Carmant said in a statement.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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