Just a Warm Sleep
JUST A WARM SLEEP REOPENS WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST 2023
Just a Warm Sleep is an emergency warming centre at 107 Pulford Street in Oak Table’s space opening November 1st, 2023. It will be open until March 31st, 2024, every night of the week.
Intake occurs nightly from 8:00 - 10:00 pm on a first come, first served basis. Guests are woken up at 6:30am and asked to leave by 8:00am. Maximum of 30 people per night.
1JustCity’s overnight warming center, Just a Warm Sleep (JAWS), invites up 30 people experiencing homelessness to join us for “just a warm sleep”. We provide the safety, warmth and comfort of a place to rest and if only for one night, an escape from the frigid nights of the winter.
The coldest temperature recorded in 2022 was -39 degrees Celsius. In those conditions, frost bite can occur on exposed skin within 20 minutes! As Manitobans, we know how to dress for these conditions when venturing outdoors but this just isn’t possible for the majority of Winnipeg’s most vulnerable population; those experiencing homelessness. One night in our overnight space could potentially save someone’s life.
This was the case for John, a 49-year-old gentleman who was evicted from a rooming house at the end of January 2019, right when temperatures that year started reaching deadly lows. John also experienced homelessness in his 20’s, and he describes how back then it was easier to spend a night in a lobby of a hotel or a bank door. It’s not so easy to find a place to shelter anymore.
John goes on to tell us that he prefers a space like JAWS over the larger shelters in Winnipeg. He likes to connect, check in, and tell us how his week has been. So much can happen in a week, between the night John spends with us and the next time he comes to stay. He really appreciates that there is someone that he knows by name who will be expecting him and is genuinely invested in his well-being. John knows how to navigate being homeless and getting back on his feet. With the support of 1JustCity, he knows he’ll get there sooner.
Our legal capacity is 30 guests a night. The demand was consistently higher in 2021 than in previous years, meaning that we’re working hard to find everyone somewhere safe to stay every night, even if it’s not with us.
JAWS is a barrier-free shelter, which means shopping carts and pets are allowed inside. It also means that we operate on a harm-reduction model. Guests who have been drinking or using substances prior to entry are welcome, so long as they can be respectful and quiet once inside.
1JustCity serves guests of all different age groups, genders, religions and cultural backgrounds.
There are plenty more stories like this one shared by our participants and staff. JAWS is more than your typical overnight space, as we provide the connection and services that often can be a motivation and survival tool used to survive Winnipeg’s brutal winters. For John, that extra support means that he made it to his next appointment refreshed (with the new shower facilities at Augustine Centre, where JAWS is located, he was able to wash up) and well rested, with the energy and determination to face the next day!
You can help more people like John who need just one more sleep, one more week, one more connection of warmth and safety; all of which they can find at Just a Warm Sleep. Your donation of $20 provides one person a safe place to sleep for one night. For $250, you can provide a month of security and supplies.
Special thanks to the United Church of Canada Foundation for funding our Housing Coordinators with a Seeds of Hope grant.
How can you support Just a Warm Sleep?
Gather pledges to pay for one night - or two! Use this pledge form to track the donations you receive:
Make a donation today that goes directly to program costs by selecting "Just a Warm Sleep" as the Fund.