Province helps find solutions for people stranded in extreme cold
REGINA -- The Salvation Army has only three emergency beds for men at its Waterston Centre near the downtown. With the extreme cold weather across the province, it's nearly full.
Jason Nightingale needed a place to stay as the weather turned bitterly cold, so he turned to the Salvation Army.
"They welcomed me back in. I got my voucher to stay there and I should be good for the month," he said.
Others just need some warm clothing to weather the minus 30 temperatures.
"No one’s turned away and if they're out in the streets and it's getting cold, they'll pop into a building like this or some of the others to stay warm," Wayne McDonough with Waterston Resident said.
Ensuring that no one is left outside in the cold is part of the provincial government’s cold weather strategy. The NDP believe there are still needs to be met to make housing more accessible.
"Changes to the Saskatchewan income supplement have actually made it harder for people to be in rental housing,’ NDP leader Ryan Meili said.
The government has taken steps to house the homeless on a permanent basis. Those who manage shelters have noticed a positive impact.
"Yes the need is gradually diminishing in terms of shelter beds. We used to have 52 beds here a few years ago and we've gradually been downsizing due to demand. There is an initiative called housing first which is having a positive impact," McDonough said.
Anyone in need can go to any shelter and ask for help and space will be found at the nearest available facility.