For the next three years, five downtown metro stations will double as service points for people living on the streets.
The project began with one outreach worker helping the homeless at the Place-des-Arts metro station. In the past year, more than 400 people have received much-needed services.

“I’ve been going into the metros twice a week, 10 hours a week and introducing myself to the people that I find in the metro who are obviously in need,” said Caitlin Murphy, who started the project.

Murphy is an outreach worker at St. Michael’s Mission, a downtown organization that's been helping Montreal's homeless for more than eight decades.

The people Murphy helps are often lacking even basic comforts, she said.
“I give them a pair of socks, which breaks the ice. I get to know them a little bit, and then hopefully, I bring them back to the mission to give them whatever they need - a coat, a pair of boots, a bowl of soup or an appointment to see a psychologist,” she said.
With many of the city's homeless suffering from serious mental health and addiction issues,  experts say access to medical and social services is key.
The idea of the metro outreach project is to point the homeless in the right direction, since they often don't know where to turn.
“Yes, they help me a lot. Yes, they do,” said one homeless man who uses the service.
The one-year pilot project at Place-des-Arts metro was so successful it's now expanding to four other metro stations: Atwater, Berri-UQAM, Bonaventure and McGill metros.
“We decided in fact to add two social workers and now we'll have three people who are going to work in five metro stations,” said Damien Stiles, executive director of the Ville-Marie Social Development Society.

The project involves several partners, including the STM and the Ville-Marie borough.
Those who work with the homeless say it's a positive step.

“These are important initiatives. I'm not criticizing them, I'm validating them, but much more needs to be done in terms of rallying resources and focusing resources I think,” said Matthew Pearce, director general of the Old Brewery Mission.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre agrees.
“It's a matter of awareness, it's a matter of education -- and I'm not talking about the homeless only, I'm talking to everybody,” he said.