Salvation Army Ramps up Services When Temperatures Plummet

Salvation Army emergency disaster services vehicle serves the vulnerable on a cold night

When blasts of frigid weather strike, The Salvation Army across Canada is increasing its services to help the vulnerable stay warm.

“The chance of at-risk or homeless people freezing is significant with sub-zero temperatures,” says Wayne McDonough, director of The Salvation Army’s Waterson Centre in Regina. “Cold weather affects both physical and mental health and organizations such as The Salvation Army are important for protection.”

The Waterson Centre, which supports men facing various challenges in life, offers a warm room and hot drinks to anyone who comes through its doors. It is one of many Salvation Army locations across Canada that are helping people from being exposed to frigid temperatures.

In Belleville, Ont., The Salvation Army’s warm room is open every night of the week for anyone to have a free hot meal, enjoy fellowship, TV movies and games.

In Ottawa, The Salvation Army’s outreach team has a van equipped to help those on the streets. It provides winter jackets, hats and gloves and other essential items. The van also transports people to somewhere warm.

In Kamloops, B.C., The Salvation Army’s food bank is handing out vouchers that can be redeemed at its thrift store for much-needed winter jackets, shoes, gloves, hats and blankets.

In Fort St. John, B.C., The Salvation Army’s emergency shelter has extra beds available when extreme weather alerts are issued.

“We don’t want anyone to lose their life on the streets,” says McDonough. “It’s important that people know that they can come to us, with no questions asked, and stay warm.”

How You Can Help

  • Check on the elderly, family members and neighbours who may be vulnerable
  • Know where warming rooms are for unsheltered people
  • Be aware of emergency shelters, programs and services
  • Help those who are housebound with shopping or necessities