You might be shivering a lot already this year, and I think this story will make you shiver even more! This story is about how cold it is outside, and today I’m asking you to help make sure everyone has a warm place to sleep at night; because this story could be about a vulnerable Winnipeg resident being inflicted with severe frostbite or worse because they had nowhere warm to be on a frigid Winnipeg winter night!
Instead this story is about a woman we’ll call Emily, who is living in a meth-affected rooming house because it’s all she can afford on her pension. I bumped into Emily recently at one of the drop-ins and she asked me when Just a Warm Sleep – 1JustCity’s overnight emergency warming shelter – was going to open. I said we’d open as usual on January 1st, although this weather makes me wish it would be sooner. Emily said “Oh good, I’m waiting for it.”
“You see I’m not homeless, but the rooming house I’m in is full of meth users. Sometimes they have really big parties with lots of people using and I don’t feel safe there. I’ve been beat up, and one time someone broke into my room. The parties happen more often in winter, because they don’t want to be outside. I used to just try to stay awake all night by going for a long walk outside, but then I’d feel awful for days from the lack of sleep. When I found out about Just a Warm Sleep, I knew I finally had somewhere safe to be.”
Emily slept at Just a Warm Sleep only a dozen or so times last winter, but that’s 12 times she didn’t have to spend a whole winter night outside to avoid experiencing violence in her own home.
Emily’s sleeps were just a part of over 341 sleeps at Just a Warm Sleep accessed by women last year, with over 1500 sleeps accessed by men.
The cold weather is here and Emily needs you to help her have a safe place to be. Many other are counting on you too! A gift of any size makes sure everyone can enjoy Just a Warm Sleep. A gift of $20 means a sleep for one person. A gift of $275 covers security and supplies for a whole night.
Thanks to a grant from Reaching Home - we have funding for the second overnight person, which means with your help to cover security costs and supplies we can be open every single night January 1st to March 31st.
Your gift will save a life this winter. And despite the cold – that’s heartwarming.
Thank you for supporting Winnipeg's most vulnerable by making Just a Warm Sleep possible!
P.S. So many people in our city need your help to be safe this winter. Any gift you can make to Just a Warm Sleep will change lives. A gift of only $20 saves Emily from walking all night to survive.