News / Winnipeg

Anti-homeless advocates brace for extreme cold weather in Winnipeg

The plan pays attention to times when services and businesses are closed and options for people looking for shelter from the extreme cold are limited.

In this Wednesday, May 10, 2017 photo D. Rogers, a homeless man, panhandles for change in Portland, Maine.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

In this Wednesday, May 10, 2017 photo D. Rogers, a homeless man, panhandles for change in Portland, Maine.

An initiative to protect the homeless from the cold that began last winter is making a comeback this season.

The Extreme Cold Weather Response Plan developed by a number of agencies that are part of End Homelessness Winnipeg is now in effect until April 30, 2018.

The plan pays particular attention to times when services and businesses are closed and options for people looking for shelter from the extreme cold are limited.

Louis Sorin of End Homelessness Winnipeg said the plan proved to be very successful last year.

“It really helped to address where a lot of the gaps were and how we as a community could fill those gaps more effectively,” Sorin said.

Siloam Mission, the Salvation Army and the Main Street Project are just a few of the many agencies that are working together in a more collaborative way as a result of the plan, Sorin explained.

“There is a lot more communication happening now to ensure vulnerable people who depend on the shelters and services are not falling through the cracks when they need help,” Sorin said.

“Now, if there is no room at the inn, so to speak, staff at one shelter will ensure they work with the others to see if they are able to accommodate,” he said. “And not just about re-directing someone elsewhere, but actually coordinating transportation for them to where they will be safe and warm.”

Sorin said the plan can extend even further by others in the community offering to be there for those who have nowhere to go when the temperatures are unbearable.

To sign up to receive alert notifications or add agencies to the list of resources, email Althea Guiboche of Housing Supports @endhomelessnesswinnipeg.ca

Main Street Project creates gift boxes for homeless

Staff at Winnipeg’s Main Street Project are preparing 200 gift boxes filled with supplies to hand out to those in need this holiday season.

The downtown safe haven is asking citizens to give them a helping hand.

“This time of year can be really tough for those experiencing homelessness”, said Cindy Titus, Communications/Fund Development Coordinator. “It’s definitely 'a many hands make light work' type situation. The more who contribute, the more successful we will be in ensuring all of our community members receive their very own gift this year.”

Titus said they are requesting essential items such as toothbrushes, soap and shampoo.  She said they would also like to include treats like chocolates or even a deck of cards.

To learn more about this initiative, visit mainstreetproject.ca/give

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