Montreal, October 23, 2014 - Twenty people braved the weather this morning and took one more step toward breaking the cycle of poverty and isolation inherent in homelessness. The workers are all registered in rehabilitation and social reintegration programs supervised by social workers. They worked in teams and received wages to clean-up the land around five office buildings located downtown and in Old Montreal. Their participation as « employees » in an official capacity is an important step toward finding long-term jobs.
This clean-up operation was organized by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Quebec (BOMA Québec) in partnership with the Société de développement social de Ville-Marie (SDSVM). This is the first of a series of joint initiatives put forward for the cause of poverty, homelessness and exclusion.
"Rather than organizing a traditional fundraising campaign, we decided to show people that it’s possible to offer employment opportunities to people who want to get off the streets and improve their lives," says Dominic Gilbert, President of the board at BOMA Québec. "Property managers and owners deal with homelessness on a daily basis. We hope they will see this as an interesting alternative and work with local groups to organize this type of activity on their own."
"We believe that through initiatives like this one, we can break the taboos related to homelessness and foster greater social cohesion," says Robert Beaudry, CEO of SDSVM. "We already work in partnership with property managers like BUSAC who manage Place Dupuis, or the STM. We know that these initiatives work," he adds.
The partnership between BOMA Québec and SDSVM will continue. Other initiatives include developing a "tool box" to help property managers find long-term solutions.
The properties cleaned by the crews are the Palais des congrès de Montreal; Centre CDP Capital; the World Trade Centre; Tour KPMG; and 2001 University.
About BOMA Québec
BOMA Quebec (boma-quebec.org) is the largest association of commercial property owners and managers in Quebec. Its members own or manage more than 85% of Class A office buildings in the province. A leader in the field since its founding in 1927, BOMA Quebec has developed a reputation for excellence in property management through the services it offers, and for increasing the value of commercial real estate assets. For BOMA Quebec, those assets consist not only of the material aspects of a building, but also immaterial aspects such as the quality of the management team, tenant profile and architectural style.
About the Société de développement social de Ville-Marie
The SVSDM (sdsvm.ca) is a “social broker” whose goal is to resolve social problems related to poverty, homelessness and all forms of social isolation within the Ville-Marie borough.