The Montreal Salvation Army Booth Center advised it's residents of a rental increase
to the amount of 15 dollars per month under the premise of a mandatory or face expulsion after 6 months work therapy program that would lower one's rent back down and that was said to be in the spirit of the Salvation Army's origins whereby the men helped by the Salvation Army gave back to the Salvation Army in time/work.
If it sounds convoluted, wait, it gets better.
The original Salvation Army's help did not charge rent. The premise then of the spirit of the Salvation Army then is at best deceptive and can possibly be considered psychologically abusive.
Of the 120 or so residents only those who had not previously volunteered were given a rental increase. This means about 100 residents. These same 100 and any new residents were mandated to participate in the work therapy or, as mentioned, face expulsion.
100 men working the amount of time the letter suggested to offset the rental increase, 30 hours, at 1% of the new rent amount would mean an increase
in overall labor of close to 4500 dollars per month. An amount many residents balked
at the Montreal Booth Center being able to afford. And alas, it couldn't.
When an intervention worker was asked how the Salvation Army Montreal Booth Center was going to put 100 men to work the reply was there were 30 jobs
in the soap distribution alone. Seems good yet the soap distribution job though signed up for by some thus avoiding expulsion was never given to do and thus, perhaps quite obviously, never paid for and the rent increase applied.
What happened was that approximately 10 to 20 residents were actually put to work.And guess who paid for it? The other residents and those residents themselveswhose rent was increased: 100 * 15 /month rent increase = 1500$/month. Which pays for around 1000 man hours monthly.
Not bad. Increase the rent, threaten expulsion to get people who are paying rent to work and have the residents pay for it.
I have a copy of the letter if anyone is interested.
And this, believe it or not, is but the tip of an iceberg that save forthe evidential letter is rather difficult to pinpoint.
The showers are cold. The tap water in at least one bathroom burning hot.
No biggee, perhaps. Consider however the inclination a person will have to scald their hands to wash them. Next to none. And thus the chance to spread illness increases. Consider also the state of mind of men who are homeless for whatever reason. Often depressed. Now consider how inclined such a man will be to take a cold shower or one that burns them. Perhaps not none yet less than usual. Cleanliness, though spoken of, is not actionally (by action) encouraged. And this plumbing issue has existed since at least 2006. These same men who may not shower, some more delicate than others,are brow beaten rather aggressively by other residents. This is not very condusive to the mental well being of anyone. It is in fact rather stressful. I may be being overly soft here however a good temperatured shower lives little or no excuse to not take a shower other than the real problems some men might have thus letting them be more readily addressed.
The heat is shut off permanently at times of the year where rather cold days ensue.
Nearing the summer the residents are made to endure until the temperature warms up. Nearing the winter until the administration sees fit to turn on the heat. (here everyone including the employees are cold which begs the question: where are these decisions coming from?) Weakened immune systems coupled with the aforementioned neglect of the bathroom and showering facilities does not tend to bode well for the residents' health overall.
Perhaps the homeless situation is just too big to tackle, perhaps the donations not enough. Perhaps more realistically the attitude towards the residents at the Salvation Army Booth Center is not that of the donors themselves yet some administrative overlayer that sees perhaps those donations as intended for them, their salaries and their bathrooms.
Do I believe this worthy of investigation? I sent a notice to the Quebec Minister of Justice pertaining the work therapy and questioning if the Salvation Army can be held liable for fraud if they are collecting donations under the premise of helping homeless people while really assuring certain salaries etc.. and not only neglecting the health of those homeless yet, as the 'work therapy' shows, deceptively misleading those they say they help and possibly abusing them as well.
The Quebec Minister of Justice gave me, understandably, a pat "we can not give you legal advice please contact a lawyer" auto response.
So here I am, thankful that others have witnessed a less charitable side to the Salvation Army and have been courageous enough to speak of it openly since so doing has encouraged me to come forth as well.