With temperatures dropping below freezing, many of Vancouver’s homeless remain out in the cold.
But with sub-zero temperatures expected in the next few days and with another bout of snow in the forecast, just how does Vancouver’s homeless population survive on the streets?
22-year-old James Martin has spent the last two years sleeping on a piece of cardboard in an alcove against a department store on Granville and West Georgia Street.
“It’s very hard and you just gotta do what you gotta do without any shelter beds,” he says.
He says you ‘just gotta deal with it,’ but admits those out in the cold get sick often.
“People laughing at you, you go through severe coldness, starvation, obviously chronic stress. And people beat you up and steal your stuff,” he says.
He says to keep warm he’ll walk into any place and stay as long as he can until he gets kicked out.
Just a few steps away, Jeremy Prosser sits in the corner during the day, though he’s hopeful there’s a shelter bed for him at night.
“[I] dress warm, pretty much everything I’m wearing has been given to me. There’s always somewhere open, you go to Tim Horton’s or McDonalds.”
Both men are from Ontario.
Martin says he’s having trouble getting welfare because he doesn’t have identification, while Prosser, a drug addict, says he’s accepted he’ll probably be living on the streets for the rest of his life.