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January 19, 2001
Media Advisory: Extreme cold weather alert called
Toronto Public Health -- Toronto's Medical Officer of Health has issued an
extreme cold weather alert to help get homeless people in from the cold. The
alert is effective for tonight, Friday, January 19, 2001. This is the sixth
alert called so far this winter season, for a total of 10 days.

An alert goes into effect when Environment Canada
· predicts a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower, without wind chill
· issues a windchill warning for outdoor activity for people in the Toronto area
· predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard or ice storm.

Under the alert, the following extra services are available to help homeless
· additional emergency sleeping spaces in Toronto hostels/shelters
· increased street patrols by Anishnawbe Health Street Patrol to reach homeless
· distribution of TTC tickets through 17 drop-in centres and outreach agencies
to help homeless people reach shelters
· provision of emergency transportation through the Canadian Red Cross for
homeless people trying to reach services/shelters

The Street Helpline service, 416-392-3777, also operates 24 hours a day to let
homeless people and front-line workers know where to find shelter and other
services. Members of the public can also call this number if they see a
homeless person sleeping outside.

Members of the public and businesses who want to donate blankets, food and
services, or volunteer their time throughout the winter call the following
numbers for more information:

Money: United Way of Greater Toronto: 416-777-2001
Clothing: Chill Out: 416-934-1227
Food: Daily Bread Food Bank: 416-203-0050
Time: Community Information Toronto: 416-397-INFO

Media Contact
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