Daytime Respites

While on the street, there is an intermediate step of service between outreach efforts and permanent shelter which may be termed a "daytime respite," or a place of rest and refuge for the homeless person. One successful daytime respite is Chez Doris, a multilingual (French, English, and, increasingly, Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit) daytime shelter for women in Montreal. The center was named after Doris, a destitute young woman murdered on the street in 1974. Chez Doris is the gathering spot for over 60 women a day; they come for food, clothing, baths, laundry facilities and, most of all, the companionship of the other women and the staff. The center is funded by a combination of government and private donations, and the women who utilize Chez Doris also provide much of the labor needed to run the place. It is a "low demand, no-questions-asked" service that accepts women who are poor, on the street, and may have psychiatric and/or substance-abuse problems.

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