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February 10, 2003
Extreme cold weather alert called for tonight
  
Toronto Community and Neighbourhood Services - Toronto's Director of Hostel
Services has called the fifth extreme cold weather alert of the 2002/2003
winter season to help get homeless people in from the cold. The alert is
effective until Tuesday, February 11.

An alert goes into effect when Environment Canada:
- predicts a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower, without wind chill
- issues a wind chill 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
people:
- 88 additional emergency sleeping spaces in Toronto hostels/shelters
- increased street patrols by Anishnawbe Health Street Patrol to reach homeless
people
- distribution of TTC tickets through drop-in centres and outreach agencies to
help homeless people reach shelters
- emergency transportation through the Canadian Red Cross for homeless people
trying to reach services/shelters.

The STREET Helpline service at 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 cold alert team include representatives from Toronto Shelter,
Housing and Support; Toronto Public Health; Emergency Medical Services; the Out
of the Cold Program; STREET Helpline; Anishnawbe Street Patrol; Youthlink
Innercity; the Canadian Red Cross and the Toronto Police Service.

More information about the cold alert program and Toronto services for homeless
persons is available on the web at http://www.toronto.ca/coldweatheralert.


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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