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January 29, 2003
Temporary Warming and Referral Centre extended
  
Community and Neighbourhood Services - The temporary warming and referral
centre at Metro Hall, which has remained open evenings and overnights this week
to provide refuge for homeless and vulnerable people, will remain open this
evening until the morning of Thursday, January 30. The hours of operation will
be 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 on January 17, the centre has logged over 1,300 visits by
homeless people. More than 700 people went to shelters and "Out of the Cold"
facilities, to which transportation was arranged. Of the 700, 150 people who
were without shelter and came in to warm up were referred to shelters by the
warming centre staff. Outreach services have also been enhanced.

"The centre has been used as an additional point of contact for homeless people
to connect with shelters and other services during this extended period of
extreme cold," said Phil Brown, the City's General Manager for Shelter, Housing
and Support.


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