Devoted to You Ministries is meeting needs of the hidden homeless people of Portage la Prairie. Co-founder Ron Eldridge says it's that time of year when it becomes quite difficult for these people.

"It is a big problem," says Eldridge. "Right now we're at the point of the year where we're looking at frostbite."

He outlines the range of ages of those in Portage who are homeless, "In Portage, I would say between 18 and 35 so far. I haven't met anyone older than that yet. It's a low number in Portage. Approximately a dozen."

Eldridge adds those who are homeless can have plenty of education or little, and they become homeless due to various reasons including abuse at home. For example, he notes, one man worked with the sheriff's department with a good income but lost everything due to a nervous breakdown. He's no longer homeless and is doing fine today.

More supplies to help the homelessHe explains various reasons lead to those who've become homeless. There's verbal and physical abuse, sexual abuse, and addictions. Eldridge says he was homeless for 13 years after having been physically abused by his father who also abused his mother. In 1974 at age of thirteen he says he left home and never looked back.

Eldridge notes not all of the homeless are addicted to drugs and alcohol as many assume. During winter many are known to drink, but it's in order to keep warm. About 45% of the homeless in Manitoba are addicts, and education about the matter is something else Eldridge hopes to get started once they have a dedicated location in the city.

If you'd like to help out, you can contact Edlridge at or call (204) 240-7551.