Here are organizations helping the homeless survive winter
A passerby started a memorial at a TTC streetcar shelter at Yonge and Dundas streets where a man was found without vital signs around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. Paramedics tried to resuscitate the man, believed to be homeless, but he was later declared dead. (Cam Woolley)
Published Tuesday, January 6, 2015 7:40PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 6, 2015 9:46PM EST
As a bitter freeze sets in across the country, many don’t have the luxury of pushing their thermostat up an extra notch to combat the cold.
Those without shelter struggle through the harsh Canadian winter each year, sometimes unable to survive the season.
Below is a list of groups and organizations across the country that are helping those in need.
The Salvation Army has been doing work in Canada since 1882. The group operates in more than 400 communities across the country, and has become the largest non-government provider of social services in Canada.
Click here to find a Salvation Army location in your community.
Out of the cold – Toronto
Out of the Cold offers shelter and hospitality to those who find themselves homeless in Toronto. The program is run through a network of churches, synagogues and other faith communities on a rotating schedule.
The program is operated by Dixon Hall, a charity that stresses a “’hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ approach.”
Visit their website for participating locations and schedule.
The Scott Mission – Toronto
The Scott Mission “welcomes individuals and families to access spiritual, relational and practical resources in a journey towards hope and transformation.”
The Christian organization offers food, shelter and clothing to those in need, and employs more than 100 staff and 5,000 volunteers to carry out their mission.
Visit scottmission.ca to see what services the organization offers.
Young Parents No Fixed Address – Toronto
Young Parents No Fixed Address is a Toronto-based organization that provides services pregnant women and those with children who find themselves homeless.
The group also provides mental and sexual health services to young parents as well as counselling for grief and trauma.
Visit their website for a list of member agencies young parents can turn to for help.
Inn From the Cold – Calgary
Inn from the Cold opened in Calgary during the cold winter of 1996/1997. Many of the city’s churches, synagogues, mosques and other community associations open their doors to homeless families and others in need on a rotating basis.
In 2008, the group also opened Calgary’s first emergency family shelter.
Hope Mission – Edmonton
In addition to providing hot meals and dry shelter, the Hope Mission in Edmonton operates a “24-7 Rescue Van.”
The converted ambulance is dispatched by emergency medical services to provide bagged lunches, water, warm clothing and blankets to those who need it.
Bissell Centre – Edmonton
The Bissell Centre focuses on empowering the less fortunate, “building relationships, hope and trust.” During winter, the centre will offer warmth and a hot meal to as many as 800 people every day.
The Lighthouse – Saskatoon
The Lighthouse in Saskatoon is a non-profit housing service that offers emergency shelter and affordable houses to those in need. The group also has rooms set aside for those with mental health issues in need of housing.
Old Brewery Mission – Montreal
Montreal’s Old Mission Brewery is the largest resource for homeless men in Quebec and the largest in Canada for homeless women. The 125-year-old mission assists more than 4,000 people each year, helping to transition more than 600 men and women back into society each year.