Amidst sub-zero temperatures, asylum seekers are crossing the Canadian border and The Salvation Army in Quebec is providing winter clothes to help protect them from the bitter cold.
“Many are from Africa and the weather is a big adjustment for them,” says Vanessa Pérugien, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Director in Quebec. “Most of the newcomers aren’t prepared for harsh winters and don’t have the money to outfit their families.”
In December, the Quebec government contacted The Salvation Army for assistance with winter wear and, in the first week of the program, Salvation Army thrift stores in Quebec distributed close to $50,000 in winter items.
“We have continued to provide coats, gloves and toques,” says Pérugien. “Thrift store vouchers are distributed to local shelters that are each providing shelter for up to 300 people. The vouchers can be redeemed at our thrift stores and guests are able to choose the appropriate items to meet their needs.”
The Salvation Army isn’t new to cold weather support. From warm rooms to mobile outreach vans and emergency shelters, we offer respite and other services to ensure vulnerable people are safe and protected.
“We have been working with the government to provide support since the first influx of asylum seekers in April 2017,” says Pérugien. “We expect to be offering assistance for the foreseeable future and until our help is no longer required.”