Homeless Cold Weather Resources – 2021 Update

The cold weather brings added concerns in helping the homeless.  Please see this overview and if you have any additional questions, please contact me.

Transit Shelters:

  • If you see a person in a Transit shelter who is displaying a threat to public safety, appears to be unconscious, appears to be in need of urgent medical attention, or during extreme cold, call 911.
  • If you see someone in a Transit shelter who appears to be sleeping and not in any medical distress, contact 311. 311 will contract Transit who will investigate further, assess the situation and reach out to one of the below organizations to provide support to the person(s).

Helpful Information:

  • The Fall Recourse Guide lists shelters and safe spaces, outreach vans, drop-ins, meals, and washrooms in Winnipeg
  • This plain language safety tip sheet covers risks related to cold, fire and COVID-19 for people spending a lot of time outdoors
  • This poster offers tips on recognizing and responding to cold illnesses, including frostbite and hypothermia
  • There is also a guide for Winnipeg residents on What to Do when encountering an individual who may be experiencing unsheltered homelessness

Please note that while these resources are homeless centred, they are vital for anyone spending time outdoors in this weather, who may find themselves or another suffering from the cold, and at an unexpected level of risk for frostbite or hypothermia.

Cold weather and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions mean that services continue to be very busy. In addition to those listed on the Fall  Resource Guide, the following resources are operational:

  • St. Boniface Street Links has opened a warming centre in partnership with Holy Cross Church at 252 Dubuc, 8pm-8am nightly for the duration of the cold period. Call 204 228-2369 to access, as capacity is limited
  • St. Matthews-Maryland/WestEnd Commons drop-in at 365 McGee is open daily except Wednesdays from 12:30-4pm
  • Main Street Project outreach offers 24/7 transports for individuals during cold weather, 204-232-5217
  • Ma Mawi is doing outreach overnight Mondays through Saturdays 204-330-3300
  • Ndinawe is doing outreach Sundays through Thursdays 4:30pm-12am, 204-781-2691

Services partner through the Extreme Weather Response Committee, which includes representation from the City of Winnipeg, emergency shelters, outreach teams, health services, people with lived experience of homelessness, and Environment and Climate Change Canada. Partners collaborate to monitor capacity across the system and to support people to prevent cold-related injury or illness. For more information, download the Extreme Weather Response Plan for 2021.

I’d like to thank End Homeless Winnipeg for compiling this information to share.