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January 20, 2003
Temporary warming and referral centre to continue with revised hours
  
Community and Neighbourhood Services - The temporary warming and referral
centre at Metro Hall that remained open last weekend to provide refuge for
homeless and vulnerable people will remain open evenings and overnight only
until the morning of Friday, January 24. The new hours of operation are 8 p.m.
to 8 a.m.

The centre has provided relief from the cold, hot beverages, as well as a point
of contact for people to gain access to shelter services. The warming and
referral centre has been provided in addition to existing Extreme Cold Weather
Alert services.

Since its opening last Friday evening, the centre has logged more than 200
visits by homeless people, provided more than 85 referrals to shelters, and
arranged for transportation to the shelters. Outreach services have also been
enhanced.

"We originally set up the warming and referral centre because we wanted to
ensure that homeless people had a place to come inside when many of the
drop-ins were closed," said Phil Brown, the City of Toronto's General Manager
for Shelter, Housing and Support. "This concern does not arise during weekdays,
when a wider network of drop-ins are open, but we want to make sure overnight
options continue while we face this record cold snap."


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