Help for the homeless in Keelung City as cold weather descends on Northern Taiwan

Volunteers handed out sleeping bags, blankets, warm coats, and food, while also offering temporary shelter to homeless people around Keelung railway station, yesterday evening, as a continental cold front descended on northern Taiwan, combined with a northeasterly monsoonal airstream, causing temperatures to plunge into the low teens.

In an underpass at Keelung Station, homeless people put up cardboard, styrofoam, and umbrellas as makeshift windbreaks, and one person even erected a tent in an attempt to shelter from the cold wind. As for blankets, one was not sufficient to keep out the cold, and newspapers were added for extra insulation.

Volunteers from the Zenan Homeless Social Welfare Foundation, and TY International Charity Foundation conducted a visit late last night, handing out warm jackets, sleeping bags, heat packs, warm food, and offered temporary accommodation to those who would accept it.

Zenan Foundation Keelung Ping’an Station Director Zhou Quanyou (pinyin trans. 周泉宥) said that next week will be the winter solstice, and the Central Weather Bureau forecasts another wave of low temperatures. Foundation volunteers distributed “warmth packs” and opened temporary accommodation in the hope of preventing hypothermia, and help the homeless spend the long, cold winter nights in safety.

Zhou said that the visit had seen 10 new homeless people identified, including a man in his 40s who had previously gathered recyclables to make a living. The man had recently been hospitalized, and upon release from the hospital, found himself with nowhere to go, so he came to the train station to spend the night.

The foundation will work to bring warmth through the winter to the homeless, disadvantaged families, low-income elderly, single mothers, and other marginalized people.

For donations: account number 19949502, or visit the donation page on the Zenan Homeless Social Welfare Foundation website.

The team from Keelung Ping’an Station of the Zenan Homeless Social Welfare Foundation. Picture: ZHSWF.

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