Woman found unresponsive in Winnipeg bus shelter

Woman found unresponsive in Winnipeg bus shelter

Winnipeg street outreach workers found an unresponsive woman lying down in a transit shelter on Monday, as colder temperatures begin hitting the city.

Winnipeg Bus Shelter

A Winnipeg woman was found inside this bus shelter at corner of Tache Avenue and Goulet Street in Winnipeg’s St. Boniface neighbourhood.

“It’s quite soul destroying for an outreach team to find a body and do chest compressions,” said Marion Willis, executive director of St. Boniface Street Links, an organization that helps connect people with housing, mental health and addictions resources.

“We’re an outreach team and we found what we found and did everything we could.”

The woman was rushed to hospital but Willis believes she was already dead, saying it appeared the woman had been there for a long time.

The City of Winnipeg said the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service rushed to the bus shelter at the corner of Tache Avenue and Goulet Street around 1:45 p.m. The team found the individual in critical condition and transported her to the hospital.

Due to privacy issues, no further details are being provided.

The Street Links workers stopped at the shelter during their morning rounds and spoke with a number of people inside.

When the workers made their rounds again in the afternoon, they realized the shelter was empty except for a pile of blankets, Willis said.

They turned her and applied three shots of Narcan, a medication used to counter opioid overdoses. It wasn’t clear if the woman was using drugs.

They called 911 and completed chest compressions until emergency crews showed up.

“But it was too late for this person,” she said.

The Winnipeg Police Service were not called because it was not a criminal situation.

“At this time of year, just as soon as the weather starts to get colder,” said Willis. “There’s a steady migration of people who are living unsheltered.”

“They’re not living in transit shelters but they take up space seeking out warmth. They build encampments. They spend the night in ATM vestibules — any place that they could find shelter,” she said.

The temperature on Monday afternoon in Winnipeg was about –22 C, with a wind chill of –31, and fell through the day. The entire southern half of the province is now under an extreme cold warning.

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