“Efforts should continue to be directed at the root causes of homelessness — including mental illness, addictions and poverty — and to finding lasting ways to help people before they end up on the street. But it’s also important to keep an eye on the calendar and realize mid-October in Winnipeg means it will soon become dangerously cold to be outside 24/7.
The immediate focus should be narrow: what is realistically doable, before the snow comes?
A group with the experience to offer apt direction to steer government funds toward protecting homeless people from the immediate hazards of winter is the Indigenous-led nonprofit organization End Homelessness Winnipeg. Responding to the pandemic last winter, the group formed an Extreme Weather Response Committee that addressed COVID-19 needs such as additional drop-in spaces.
This group’s front-line expertise should be valued, and it should be granted sufficient emergency funding to boost immediate protection for homeless people who choose to access it.”
Read more from the Winnipeg Free Press: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/as-winter-looms-immediate-supports-required-575531662.html