Photo : Mikael Theimer
Last October, eight students on the Special Care Counselling program took part in the Homeless Night, which aims to raise public awareness of the situation of poverty, social disaffiliation and homelessness that more and Québécois people face.
For this event, which takes place in Montreal and forty other Québec towns and cities each year, participants spend a night outside, with surrounding activities of all kinds, supported by several organizations that work with homeless people.
Our students showed true dedication at this event. They lent a helping hand to set up the site, took part in running the activities, went on the symbolic walk and much more!
A student tells us about her experience...
What did you like most about this event?
“I really liked the event’s atmosphere. It was unique. We didn’t feel the distance between the homeless people and the rest of society, as we usually see it. We all mixed and it was as if, in the space of a night, there was no more difference between us. The unease that some people may feel when they see a homeless person had disappeared. If only it could be like that every day!”
What was the most memorable moment?
“When we were at the clothing donation kiosk, an elderly lady came. She was looking for a scarf, but we could see that she had greater needs. My colleagues and I found her a wonderful coat and a matching fur hat. The transformation was fabulous! Together the items suited her brilliantly and when she saw the result, she was beaming! Her smile warmed my heart!”
How has this event made you a better special care counselor?
“This event was a unique opportunity to gain insight into the world of homelessness. As a future special care counselor, we may have the opportunity to work with this clientele, and we are unfamiliar with it. The homelessness issue enables us to face several realities that we must address as special care counselors: mental health, physical health, addiction, isolation, etc. This event therefore brought us into direct contact with people and enabled us to listen to them and give them our help. It was a wonderful way to put into practice what motivates us to become a special care counselor!”