An Overview of the Old Brewery Mission

OBM-McGill Project

The Old Brewery Mission began as a soup kitchen founded in 1889. As the needs of the homeless population in Montreal grew, programs and services were developed and made available to those in need.

Several factors contribute to homelessness. These include, but are not limited to poverty;  inability to pay rent;  stress associated with job loss;  family crisis;  drug or alcohol abuse; gambling addiction; mental illness; and physical ill-health.

The Old Brewery Mission provides five distinct services to clients. These are: (1) emergency services; (2) transition services; (3) the community support program; (4) housing services; and (5) services for women.

McGill University and the Old Brewery Mission are collaborating on a research project entitled "Evaluation, Research and Improvement Project for the Transition Services (ERIPTS)." Outlined below is a description of the transition services offered by the Old Brewery Mission.

Transition Services:

The Old Brewery Mission provides three distinct transition services. They are: (1) the Annex program; (2) the Étape program; and (3) the Escale program. The goal of the transition services is to enable the clients to regain their footing, strengthen their self confidence, establish a plan to address the causes of their homeless condition, and eventually leave the Mission to get back into a more stable and regularized life.

The Annex program is a residential assessment and referral centre for first-time users of OBM services. During their stay of a few weeks, residents work intensively with case managers, alone and in group sessions, to deal with issues that led them to the shelter.

The Étape program is offered at the the Old Brewery Mission's Webster Pavillion. The program is 30 days long, during which time clients may access weekly case management meetings with their assigned case manager as well as three meals per day, a bed, locker, shower, and laundry facilities. The program is set on the entire fifth floor of the Webster Pavillion and has the capacity for 59 clients. Étape  serves homeless men that do not identify as having severe addictions or mental health issues (these clients are referred somewhere else). Finally, Étape  is staffed by 3 full-time day case managers and 1 full-time evening case manager.

The Escale program, housed on the 4th floor of the Old Brewery Mission’s Webster Pavillion, is a three month residential program during which time clients pay rent for private or semi-private accommodation at the Old Brewery Mission. This assists clients in building confidence, while at the same time they are assisted by their case managers to find employment, housing, or support. This program aims to stabilize clients so that when they return to housing, they can do so stably, and remain there.    

For more information on the other services offered by the Old Brewery Mission, please see the link below:

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