Warmth for the Homeless When Temperatures Plummet

A Salvation Army EDS truck and a profile of a man drinking a hot beverage with his winter jacket and hood on.
by SalvationArmy.ca
Categories: Articles, Feature, Mobile, Newswire

When temperatures drop to sub-zero levels, the cold poses real dangers to those experiencing homelessness. Across Canada, The Salvation Army is helping people stay warm, get off the streets and into shelter.

“It doesn’t matter what your situation is, we just want to get you in from the cold,” says Mark Stewart, Residential Manager at The Salvation Army’s Booth Centre in Winnipeg.

From outreach vans to extended shelter hours to rolling out extra mats, The Salvation Army works toward ensuring that those who call the streets home have a warm and safe place to stay when temperatures plummet.

“We want to ensure the people in our community are protected,” says Stewart.

At the Booth Centre, the Cold Weather Response team roams the streets of Winnipeg in a repurposed ambulance. They stop at bus shelters, search back alleys and under bridges to provide clothing, sandwiches, coffee and hopefully a ride to shelter.

“A pair of socks, a cup of coffee or maybe just a kind word might be what they’re looking for,” says Stewart.

“The weather definitely impacts the demand for shelter,” says Tim Bohr, Community Ministries Director for The Salvation Army in Chilliwack.

“Reaching out to the homeless is much more than providing shelter,” says Stewart. “We connect and give them hope.”