Skip to main content

Calgary Transit shuttles help hundreds find shelter during frigid weather

Outreach volunteers offer help to the homeless on a -20 C night in Calgary. (File: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press) Outreach volunteers offer help to the homeless on a -20 C night in Calgary. (File: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Officials with a multi-year pilot project that helps Calgary's homeless find shelter during blasts of cold weather say the initiative is paying dividends.

According to the City of Calgary, nearly 200 people were transported to emergency shelters in Calgary Transit shuttles in the past week as part of the Coordinated Community Extreme Weather Response program. There have been approximately 600 trips made since the end of November.

The four-year pilot program is led by the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the city committed $2.3 million to the intitiative from its Community Safety Investment Framework fund.

As part of the program, transit peace officers and Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) team members identify Calgarians in need of reprieve from the cold, and Calgary Transit shuttles then ferry them to emergency shelters.

"LRT stations are not appropriate places to seek shelter because they do not have the necessary amenities like beds, potable water or restrooms, nor do they have the resources to support peoples' wellbeing," said Will Fossen, deputy chief of transit public safety.

"Our city's shelters have been operating at around 75 per cent capacity so far this winter. Demand increases during extreme weather conditions, but they have enough space to accommodate everyone that needs it."

Anyone who encounters a person in need of help should contact the DOAP team at 403-998-7388 or call 911 if the person is non-responsive or in serious distress. Top Stories

'Rust' armourer gets 18 months in prison for fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin on set

A movie weapons supervisor was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by Alec Baldwin on the set of the Western film "Rust," during a hearing Monday in which tearful family members and friends gave testimonials that included calls for justice and a punishment that would instill greater accountability for safety on film sets.

Here's what to expect in the 2024 federal budget

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will be presenting the 2024 federal budget on Tuesday, revealing how the federal Liberal government intends to balance the nearly $40 billion in pre-announced new spending with her vow to remain fiscally prudent.

Prince Harry in legal setback about security protection in U.K.

Prince Harry's fight for police protection in the U.K. received another setback on Monday, when a judge rejected his request to appeal an earlier ruling upholding a government panel's decision to limit his access to publicly funded security after giving up his status as a working member of the royal family.

Stay Connected