Unresponsive person found in bus shack
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Outreach workers are calling for more warming centres throughout the city after they found an unresponsive individual in a St. Boniface bus shelter Monday afternoon.
The person was face-down under a pile of blankets in a heated bus shelter at Goulet Street and Tache Avenue when St. Boniface Street Links outreach workers arrived around 1:20 p.m. Monday, said Marion Willis, founder of Street Links.
She said outreach workers gave the person naloxone in case they were suffering from an overdose, because there was drug paraphernalia in the bus shack.
The individual is presumed to have died, Willis said, although a spokesman for the City of Winnipeg didn’t confirm that Tuesday.
Regardless, Willis said it’s one of many examples that underscore the need for emergency warming shelters throughout the city.
“That was horrific,” Willis said. “I wish I could tell you this was an isolated incident for us.”
She said services and supports for the homeless are concentrated in the inner city, even though the problem is in nearly every neighbourhood.
“I have to say that we’re feeling pretty helpless and pretty dismayed over here,” Willis said.
Most of the investments to tackle homelessness have been west of the Red River.
“It’s as though the homelessness and addiction and many of the challenges that we face in the city seem not to be well-understood by funders,” Willis said.
“There’s absolutely no infrastructure to support people living homeless on this side of the river.”
She said she hopes to work with municipal officials on an urgent solution before temperatures dip even colder this winter.