Monctonians chip in to help homeless as cold snap approaches
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2018 11:36PM AST
Most of us are able to bundle up against the cold, not so for people who sleep outside.
Across the Maritimes, things are cooling off and it's about to get even colder.
For some who call the streets their home, the cold can be a life-or-death struggle.
“I see myself every night sleeping on a vent,” said one man who lives on the street and chose not to give his name.
With this early blast of winter and temperatures dropping below zero, homeless shelters are overpopulated.
“This is my 30th year in Moncton doing this and we've never been as full as we are now,” said Cal Maskery of Harvest House Atlantic.
In Fredericton, the tent cities are growing in number.
“It's behind the governor’s house, on the river banks, up by the train bridge,” said Malayna Bartlett. “There's tents everywhere because there's no housing available for people.”
That frustration has been widespread.
“It's not easy,” said Gary Long. “It's very hard and there should be more funding for people that is on the streets. It's not right.”
In Moncton's 2019 budget, $468,000 was put aside to go towards agencies directly involving the homeless.
“We decided to add another $20,000 to that to deal directly with the situation we're dealing with right now in the city,” said Moncton mayor Dawn Arnold.
On top of the money that the city has already put aside towards homelessness, they're asking the province for an additional $400,000.
Leidy Cameron, a restaurant manager in Moncton is doing what she can to help.
She's decided to raise money and collect donations for one of Moncton's homeless shelters.
“We decided to help them by asking our guests if they would like to donate $2.79, which is what it costs to feed one person,” said Cameron.
She hopes to raise $10,000 by the end of December.
So far she's raised $2,000 in one week -- a generous step toward getting the homeless out of the elements as the days get colder...
Wednesday night temperatures are expected to drop near -13 C in Moncton with a wind-chill -23 C overnight, which will be dangerous for anyone -- especially those sleeping on the streets.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.