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January 24, 2003
Temporary warming and referral centre to remain open over weekend
  
Community and Neighbourhood Services - The temporary warming and referral
centre at Metro Hall, which has remained open evenings and overnight this week,
will remain open throughout the weekend. As previously announced, the centre
will operate Thursday evening beginning at 8:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. on Friday
morning. The centre will re-open at 8:00 p.m. on the evening of Friday, January
24, and will remain open on a 24-hour basis until 8:00 a.m. on the morning of
Monday, January 27. A decision will be made on Monday on whether to keep the
centre open, depending on the weather and the need.

The centre will continue to provide relief from the cold, hot beverages, and 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 on Friday, January 17, the centre has logged over 550 visits
by homeless people, provided more than 120 referrals to shelters, and arranged
for transportation to the shelters. In addition, outreach services have been
enhanced.

"This centre was originally set up to cover off key weekend times when fewer
drop-in options were available to people on the streets," said Phil Brown, the
City's General Manager for Shelter, Housing and Support. "As the cold snap
continues, so does the need for us to make sure people have access to the
shelter system and other services, and this temporary warming centre is working
well to achieve this."


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