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Union Gospel Mission concerned as temperatures continue to drop

Last Updated Feb 13, 2019 at 11:10 am PST

(iStock Photo)

The UGM is concerned for those living on the streets as temperatures continue to drop

Jeremy Hunka with UGM says the list of potential dangers due to the cold is long

He says he's heard of people getting arrested just so they can get out of the cold

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Even though Metro Vancouver getting breaks from the snow now, the cold forecast continues to cause major concern for those living on the streets.

People without a place to go have been beaten down by this blast of winter, explains Jeremy Hunka with the Union Gospel Mission.

“We’ve seen people die in the cold in past years in Metro Vancouver,” Hunka adds. “We’ve seen them either die in the snow or die in the cold.”

RELATED: Sun comes out today, but another storm will soon close in

He says the shelter has been exceptionally busy, even at capacity the last several nights.

“We’ve been over capacity making extra spaces beyond what we normally do, just because there’s so many people coming to us.”

In the past, Hunka says he’s heard of people taking desperate measures, such as committing a crime to get arrested, in order to get out of the cold.

“The list of dangers when it gets this cold is long,” he adds. “You have the health concerns of being outside in the cold — there’s pneumonia, hypothermia, serious health complications, there’s fire.”

If you’d like to help Hunka says you can donate some cold weather gear or make a cash donation to organizations working to get others through the frigid conditions.