A Winnipeg homeless shelter says their phone has been ringing off the hook with reports of vulnerable people in distress as a cold snap continues across Manitoba.
Main Street Project’s van patrol outreach program runs 365 days a year, providing support to Winnipeg’s homeless population.
But the shelter says the van has been working 24 hours a day during the recent stretch of extreme cold weather.
They say the shelter has received more than 200 calls for well-being checks in the last two days alone.
Winnipeg and the entire province have been under an extreme cold warning since late Friday night, and according to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the cold isn’t going anywhere soon.
“Along with winds of 10 to 20 km/h, extreme wind chill values between -40 and -50 are expected over most of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan once again today,” reads a warning on the national weather service’s website Tuesday.
“The bitterly cold air will remain over the Prairies for much of the next week.”
Winnipeg police say the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating after a man was found dead outside in the 600 block of Des Meurons Street Saturday.
A police spokesperson said they’ve ruled out foul play, but said it’s too early to confirm if cold weather played a role in the man’s death.
Main Street Project says it’s been working with partners through the city to attend every call that comes in.
End Homelessness Winnipeg says there are currently nine emergency overnight shelters in operation in the city.
Main Street Project says Winnipeggers should call 911 if someone is seen in immediate distress during the cold snap, otherwise their outreach van is available by calling 204-232-5217.
Environment Canada’s forecast for Winnipeg calls for a low of -29 C overnight Tuesday with the wind chill making it feel like -40.
–With files From Abigail Turner
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