• Read more: Refugees: Quebec overflows from Trudeau’s tweet
• Read more: Roxham Road: Hotel, food and welfare for migrants
• Read more: Why do refugees use Roxham Road?
Forced to lie on the floor
After their temporary hotel stay ends, refugee claimants are often completely destitute, sometimes forced to sleep on the floor despite being on welfare.
For them, finding a roof in the Montreal area is more challenging due to the housing crisis.
“The only affordable housing they find is substandard housing that’s infested with insects, cockroaches or rats,” explains Maryse Poisson of Collective Pinevenue, a Montreal organization that provides furniture and clothing to refugee families.
“In their apartments, some families sleep on the floor with their newborns before help arrives,” she adds.
Needless to say, increased traffic on Roxham Road this year has put pressure on organizations like Ms.me Fish.
These have to rely on public charity to collect cash donations and basic needs.
“We don’t see much commitment from the provincial government towards us. We live on long-term funding,” says Ms.me Fish.
The situation of families is very precarious as their members have to wait for a long time to get work permits, which will help them increase their income.
Marjorie Villefranche, director general of the Maison d’Haïti, refers to “situations of humanitarian distress” among the refugees.
“Faced with this, community organizations don’t receive additional grants,” he says. Obviously we don’t let people down, so we do it overtime. »
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