The old Royal Victoria Hospital will soon be home to a new emergency shelter to help Montrealers in need during the winter.

Quebec’s regional health authority made the announcement Friday, saying the unit will accommodate up to 80 men and women. It will also a provide space for their pets.

The temporary unit will be open for three months starting Jan. 15, and ending April 15.

“No one is indifferent to this situation, which is just as upsetting as it is worrying,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante in a statement. “It was therefore imperative for us to quickly meet all our partners to find solutions.”

While Collingwood council has no political responsibility to address housing and homelessness, one councillor says they do have a moral one.

“I believe we have a moral responsibility to ensure that every person in this town has, at minimum, a warm bed and a hot meal on a very cold night,” said Coun. Deb Doherty.

Gail Michaelenko, from the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness, told simcoe.com in August, that the municipality is in the midst of a housing crisis.

Vacancy rates are between 0.4 and 1.2 per cent and according to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, the average rental rate for Collingwood is $1,125 per month including utilities, which is $16 higher than the provincial average.

A pilot program through the P.E.I. government and Family Violence Prevention Services will provide Islanders in urgent need of shelter with a hotel room.

People can call a toll-free number if they don’t have a safe or sustainable place to stay for the night.

Those in need can find shelter until they’re able to work with other government or community support systems to find a more permanent solution.

Dennis Brooks says there are no warm places when you’re homeless. He should know. Originally from Glace Bay, N.S., Brooks, 54, was homeless in Toronto on and off for more than 20 years.

“Nobody’s experienced what we have, up and down these hard roads,” Brooks said while sitting in a church near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue. “People have been beaten and beaten and beaten all our lives, like myself.”

During his homeless years, which ended this fall, Brooks says he drank too much, used drugs and was in and out of relationships. He was terribly lonely. He was assaulted. In summer, he would sometimes live in a tent.

A mother from the Alexander First Nation, northwest of Edmonton, was turned away empty-handed from a nearby food bank because her home doesn’t fall in the territory it serves.

Sharleena Sauve went to the Morinville Food Bank on Dec. 11 to ask for help. She told CBC News that her interaction with the volunteer at the counter was friendly at first.

“He was very nice at first, but when he found out where I came from, that I live on Alexander, his demeanour changed completely,” Sauve said.

More than 40,000 people in the Okanagan live below the poverty line.

And, according to the United Way, 21 per cent of households spend more than half their income on rent.

The shocking statistics include more than 3,000 people using local food banks last year – one-third of them children – and 1,600 children at Central Okanagan elementary schools who start their day with a donated breakfast because they don’t get one at home.

The provincial government is adding more shelter spaces around the province, naming Kamloops as one of multiple cities receiving funding.

The new beds being added by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing are geared to help ease pressure on communities where existing shelters are running at or over capacity.

The other shelter beds are being set up on Ladysmith, Duncan, Salt Spring Island, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert, Fort St. James, Burnaby Chilliwack and Kelowna.