Municipalities and donation bin companies throughout British Columbia are removing or redesigning bins in response to the deaths.

But none of that addresses the root cause of these deaths, said Downtown Eastside resident Karen Ward.

“It’s poverty. It’s not the bins,” she said in an interview.

Carol’s Place, a 24-hour drop-in centre for Peterborough’s homeless population formerly located inside Peterborough Square, is now closed.

Two weeks before Christmas, the mall’s management notified the shelter that it would have to vacate its former location within the mall.

“We learned in October that we weren’t going to be allowed to stay in the office that we were in but we were promised a smaller office in the mall, and that offer now, 10 days before Christmas, was taken off the table,” said Carol’s Place executive director Dan Hennessey.

During her five years living on London’s streets, Courtney Bain spent a few nights in homeless shelters geared to adults.

It was a memorable experience, for all the wrong reasons.

“You have other adult women coming in to your room at two o’clock in the morning, asking if you have a lighter, [offering to] split their drugs with you. At first, you’re shocked and disgusted but as time goes on, you start to try those things. That becomes normal to you. That’s how [people] slip.”

A Surrey councillor wants to see more shelter space for the homeless and in particular for the elderly.

Brenda Locke said Surrey desperately needs it, the city has less than 50 emergency weather beds and could use between 130 to 150.

“I don’t know why it isn’t easier to open some of the city’s resources,” Locke said.

And another concern she said she’s noticing more and more are elderly people ending up on the streets.

As the icy grip of winter fills Halifax shelters to capacity, a Dalhousie University professor says government needs to do more to address the city’s growing crisis.

“We’ve been in a homeless crisis for years, regardless of whether the shelters are full or not, and the fact is that people should not be living in shelters. That should not be their home base,” said Jeff Karabanow, a professor at Dalhousie University’s School of Social Work.

London’s emergency shelters ran at full capacity between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, with rates fluctuating daily, city hall figures show.

Just weeks after the city’s family shelter cancelled its overflow program that put up families in motels, pointing to “unsustainable demand,” London’s three main shelters hit an average of 100 per cent occupancy over the holiday period.

Jan Richardson, city hall’s manager of homeless prevention, said the city’s shelters – the Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope, the Men’s Mission and the Unity Project have 320 emergency beds between them – were full, but noted that overflow and crash beds were still available.

P.E.I. is “heading in the right direction” when it comes to reducing food insecurity for people on social assistance, research suggests.

Data from 2015-16 on rates of food insecurity in Canada show P.E.I. has the lowest percentage of households on social assistance in the country — at just over 54 per cent — who are struggling to get a healthy diet.

By comparison, in Nova Scotia almost three-quarters of the food insecure households are on social assistance.