Some residents around Montreal’s Milton Park have launched a petition concerning a homeless drop-in centre moving into their neighbourhood.

The Open Door, which currently serves a large Inuit population around Cabot Square, will begin renovating the basement of Notre Dame de la Salette after signing a five-year lease with the church.

The centre has offered free meals, access to clothing and basic needs to homeless and low income people since 1988. About 40 per cent of the clients are Indigenous, with the majority being Inuit.

“If people are going to start leaving the area, there’s an impact on the price of houses,” said Tony Antakly, a Milton Park homeowner for 20 years.

“If people are going to be harassed because of these newcomers who are mostly drug addicts, and they bring in criminality and so on, that has a significant impact on the life of the area.”