Extreme cold weather alert called|
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Toronto Community and Neighbourhood Services - Toronto's Director of Hostel
Services has issued the fourth extreme cold weather alert of the 2002/2003
winter season to help get homeless people in from the cold. The alert is
effective for five days - from today, January 16, 2003 to January 20, 2003.
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
-additional emergency sleeping spaces in Toronto hostels/shelters
-increased street patrols by Anishnawbe Health Street Patrol to reach homeless
-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.
"The next five days will have record low temperatures for this year and we are
concerned that the cumulative effect becomes more dangerous the longer the cold
lasts when people are sleeping outside," said John Jagt, Director of Hostel
Services with Toronto Shelter, Housing and Support. "By providing additional
emergency beds and enhanced outreach, we are increasing our existing efforts to
encourage people to use the shelter system."
Members of the cold alert team include representatives from Toronto Shelter,
Housing and Support, Toronto Public Health, the Out of the Cold Program, STREET
Helpline, Anishnawbe Street Patrol, Youthlink Innercity, and the Toronto Police
More information about the cold alert program and Toronto services for homeless
persons is available on the web at http://www.toronto.ca/coldweatheralert.