Chez Doris Day Shelter opens second shelter for homeless women in Montreal


Chez Doris Day Shelter opens second shelter – “Thanks a Million for a Second Roof” – Chez Doris Day Shelter to Mr. Andrew Harper. The organization that helps women in vulnerable situations will open a second location to increase its services. 

Chez Doris Day Shelter for homeless women will be opening a second location thanks to an extraordinary donation from Montreal businessman Andrew Harper made through the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal. Chez Doris made the announcement at a recent luncheon honoring Mr.Harper for his gift of $1,000,000. This amount represents the largest private donation ever received by the organization and its impact cannot be overstated. It is “the most significant gift in its history,” says Virginie Thiou, Co-ordinator, Public Relations for Chez Doris.

Andrew Harper with Rosemary Christensen, his friend (to his right), Marina Boulos-Winton, the Executive Director of Chez Doris (to his left), Pat Hardt, a member of the board and two beneficiaries from the shelter.

The event brought together women who benefit from the services of Chez Doris, friends & colleagues and their new benefactor. Executive Director, Marina Boulos-Winton, thanked Mr. Harper, taking the opportunity to unveil the development of a major project made possible by his generous donation. Chez Doris will be acquiring a new building in the west end of downtown Montreal where it will move some of its counseling services and administrative offices. The space made available in its existing building will be used to augment services currently offered. New services will include 20 overnight emergency shelter beds for homeless women by 2020.

“Women currently make up about one-quarter of the homeless population in Montreal. Yet the resources dedicated to homeless women or those in a vulnerable situation are clearly not proportionate to the needs. There is an urgent necessity to do more. We are very grateful to our donors, especially Andrew Harper, for making this important project happen. We must all continue to increase resources for women in vulnerable situations and continue to fight homelessness,” Boulos-Winton said. 

Chez Doris offers services and programs to meet the basic needs of women coping with homelessness, poverty, mental illness and/or addiction. It is the only women’s day shelter in Montreal and opens its doors to up to 100 women per day. This represents 26,000 visits per year and 37,000 meals annually. Essential services include breakfast and lunch, access to showers and hygiene products, a clothing depot, emergency food bags, 6 respite beds, telephone and information referral assistance, custodial services and a financial management program, an Innuit assistance program, an Aboriginal housing program, and health & mental health services, as well as educational, recreational and integration services.

By: Deborah Rankin –
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