Regina’s most vulnerable brace for winter storm

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WATCH ABOVE: Winter has arrived in the prairies. Temperatures are expected to be well into the minus double digits all week, with wind chills well below that. Christa Dao takes a look at how the most vulnerable are coping with the freeze – Dec 5, 2016

As Regina gets ready for its first cold blast of the year, organizations are also making sure the city’s most vulnerable are prepared.

At Carmichael Outreach, a local non-profit organization, it was a busy scene as patrons perused the racks in search of anything they can use during this week’s deep freeze.

“I’ll just usually come and see what jackets are donated. They get some good ones now and then,” Dwayne Desjarlais, one of the patrons, said.

READ MORE: Winter storm warning issued in southeastern Saskatchewan

According to Tyler Gray with Carmichael Outreach, in times of extreme weather, the group sees a surge in demand.

“Just a lot more of quantity that goes out of the building. People need to layer more in the winter to stay warm,” Gray said.

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A recent homeless count by YWCA found there are 240 people living on the streets in Regina. Gray estimates that there may be homeless people missing from the count.

“It’s a little bit low I think, and that’s not meant to criticize the count. It’s just a reflection of one, three-hour period,” he said.

READ MORE: Regina YWCA aims to house 240 homeless people by 2018

“It [doesn’t include] going into abandon buildings, or a lot of places that folks we know camp out and try to find safety and some peace and quiet.”

However, Gray said it gives a snapshot of the people out there and the needed conversations to address homelessness.

“One is too many and at the end of the day, as we have these conversations, and people provide us with the items that we need to help keep folks warm, we can continue that conversation.”

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Another group that is also pitching in to help the less fortunate is the Angels 4 Warmth non-profit group. Volunteers knitted and crocheted over 300 scarves for people in need. The scarves were tied to trees — free for the taking.

Within 24 hours, all of the scarves were gone.

“If it comes down to putting food in your belly, or staying warm, food typically comes first,” Angels 4 Warmth President Donna Curran said.

But out on the streets during Saskatchewan winters, it can be all the difference.

“Just try to layer up, with the coldness and all that,” Desjarlais said.

“I’m just grateful for places like this.”


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