By Benoit Langevin, AJOI
In October of 2016, the non-profit organization Action Jeunesse de l’Ouest de l’Île (AJOI) learned that they will join the Government of Canada in the fight against homelessness. The Federal Government has approved a grant of $109,000 for an 18-month project called Stabilise toi avec l’AJOI, which aims to provide support to homeless residents or to those at-risk of becoming homeless in the West Island, through two outreach street workers dedicated to this issue.
Thanks to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), AJOI will receive the funds necessary to complete their goal of reducing and preventing homelessness in the West Island. This project is funded by various regional organizations.
AJOI has been working since 2007 to fight homelessness in the West Island. Following an increase in incidents of homelessness, we began a research project in partnership with the City of Montréal as well as the UQAM. The research showed that West Island youth face a real issue when it comes to finding affordable housing. Different faces of homelessness (from chronic homelessness to couch-surfing) were identified. This investment will be applied to directly support the population identified in this research, namely: young adults who sleep in their cars or in parks, those who prostitute themselves as a strategy to find housing, and those who resort to crime in order to have access to housing. In 2015/2016, AJOI intervened in 347 cases of housing-related and/or accommodation issues in its territory. In the past 2 years, we have intervened in 205 cases of homelessness.
“This funding will go directly towards reaching people in precarious living conditions. With this new partnership, we will be able to offer a greater presence in public spaces, as well as provide support, information and awareness in order to guide them in their life plan.”
Since 2007, AJOI aims to increase the youths’ quality of life and to break denial surrounding poverty in the West Island. Its mission is to establish and maintain street outreach work intervention services for youth aged 12 to 25 years old on the territory of the West Island.
For more information, visit our website: www.ajoi.info