Yvon, 62 years old
Resident of J.A. DeSève
He didn't choose to be homeless.
In 2011, Mr. Yvon Gendreau’s wife died suddenly, leaving her partner devastated and alone after spending more than 30 years together. Since he was staying outside the city at the time, Mr. Gendreau decided to head to Montreal for a change of scenery. He never returned home.
Mr. Gendreau became very depressed and chose to stay in a park where he spent the majority of his time for more than three years. Local storekeepers sometimes offered him a few bites. The rest of the time he had to beg to survive. But winters are rough and on one cold February day, the police had to drive him to the hospital.
His feet were completely frozen. After stabilizing his condition, doctors diagnosed various health issues caused by diabetes that had been untreated during his years living on the street. It was unthinkable to take Mr. Gendreau back to his park bench. He need a place to rest, recover and get support. He didn’t have any relatives, friends or a home, so he was welcomed into Maison du Père’s convalescent care unit where he stayed for six months.
That was how long it took him to realize that he didn’t want to end his life living on the street. His age and condition allowed him access to the Residence for Homeless Seniors where we quickly found him a room. It didn’t bring back the love of his life, but at a minimum, Mr. Gendreau now has a comfortable place where he feels good.