Pleas for help as Montreal’s LGBTQ Village falls victim to addiction, homelessness

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07/07/2023

The Village, Montreal’s historical LGBTQ neighbourhood, has become the scene of homelessness, addiction and crime, with locals suggesting that its social problems are being imported because of the district’s history of being an inclusive space for marginalized people. Richard Fitzgerald, who has lived in the Village for 46 years, says he has witnessed a slow decline. “Twenty years ago it was a really lively place and it was known around the world.” Now, he said, “you come here at night and it’s scary. There’s violence. There’s a whole problem of people who have drug problems, mental health problems.” In response, the city has boosted police presence in the neighbourhood just east of downtown and assigned a two-person psychosocial intervention team to direct vulnerable people to resources. In June, it released a plan to revitalize the neighbourhood and deal with homelessness and mental health.

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