'It's terrible': Winnipeg homeless shelters worry after woman found dead outside
A 53-year-old woman was found dead Sunday morning
The death of a woman found unconscious after a frigid morning in downtown Winnipeg is worrying for some people who have lived on the streets.
"I've been on the streets. I know how it is. It's freezing out here," said Maureen Nelson.
Nelson lives in transitional housing but she knows the struggles of winter nights on the streets too well. Holding back tears, Nelson said she knows she's lucky to have had help from the North End Women's Centre.
"It's terrible, terrible, especially when it's cold. You are desperate. You want somewhere to stay, someone to love, be with, to care for you," she said.
Alex Forrest, president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg, told CBC on Sunday that he believes the person who walked away before they arrived was the woman who later died.
The city's emergency homeless shelter organizers are also concerned that people are stuck outside.
"It's terrible," said Mark Stewart, shelter services co-ordinator at The Salvation Army's Booth Centre.
"We are not sure whether that person was a part of our community or not but we do want to pray for her and her family and make sure that this doesn't happen again."
"It's important to us to make sure that everybody that is outside right now is booked in with us or in the other shelters," Stewart said.
When the temperatures drop below –10 C, no one is turned away from the shelters, Stewart added.
"We can't make people come in from the cold but the best we can do is just let people know that we are available, we are open and we will not turn anyone away," he said.
With files from Erin Brohman