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For homeless people trying to stay safe in pandemic, federal housing program is a lifeline, say advocates


In the past year, the word “stay” has been repeated over and over as Canadians have been urged — even ordered at times — by public health officials and governments to stay apart and stay home.

And yet that isn’t realistic for people who have nowhere to stay.

Homeless people have become particularly vulnerable this winter as they risk exposure to freezing temperatures — dipping into the –30s and –40s on the Prairies — as well as the novel coronavirus, with more limited access to shelter spaces due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Keeping people housed is a key way to limit the spread of COVID-19 as people need to have a secure place to self-isolate,” according to the federal government.

Steven Ledoux, a 50-year-old former construction worker who lived on the streets of Regina for years, knows the daily grind of searching for food, booze and a bed.

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