Last week, the government of Quebec announced a new policy to which the homeless solidarity network in Quebec responded positively in most parts. Amelie Phillipson from the CKUT’s community news collective, spoke with Ann-Gaelle Whiteman who works at the Dahlia Centre that provides, accommodation, support and guidance to homeless women. Thanks to Alejandro Hernandez for the transcription.
CKUT: Hi, Ann-Gaelle. First of all, can you talk about what gets women on the streets of Montreal. How do they lose housing and end up in this situation?
AGW: At La Rue des Femmes, we don’t see it as ending up in that situation… it’s a lot more complicated than that. Actually, we see it as a matter of relational health. Women on the street right now are women that went through a lot of abuse, neglect when they were children… and a child in order to survive from the neglect and trauma from parents or other people around them, disconnect themselves, the brain disconnects the mantle from the physical (that’s the only way they can survive). So for us, when those situations repeatedly happen, we say that the child is completely disconnected inside. And that’s where homelessness starts actually and after that if it continues in their lives, then it’s just a matter of time before they end up in the streets because inside they are already lost.