The 2023-2024 Winter Weather Response plan is now active!
People experiencing homelessness face increased risk of direct health impacts from winter weather hazards because they are likely to spend long periods of time outside, resulting in increased exposure. These risks can increase further due to lack of access to warm shelter, warm clothing, nutritious food, or health care and infection prevention resources, any of which may be commonly faced by individuals experiencing homelessness.
Winnipeg experiences very harsh, cold winters and with weather events changing, risks may be increasing. The goal of the Winter Weather Response Plan is to prevent harmful health impacts of winter weather hazards on people experiencing homelessness in Winnipeg.
Homelessness also presents significant risks of illness and infections. If a person experiencing homelessness becomes ill, transience makes sustained contact for medical monitoring difficult. In addition, many people experiencing homelessness have pre-existing health issues that create compromised immunity, and they may not seek or have access to health care.
The Winter Weather Response Plan provides weather preparedness and response information and activities focused on reducing the negative health impacts of winter weather hazards. The main objectives of this plan are to:
• Alert those experiencing homelessness, and those who interact with them, when winter weather hazards are expected or exist
• Trigger response actions by agencies that provide services or alter operations to protect those experiencing homelessness from risks associated with winter weather hazards and COVID-19
The Winter Weather Response Committee identified a few key initiatives the sector will focus on: