Extreme Cold Weather Alert extended through Thursday|
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Toronto's Hostel Services has extended the second extreme cold weather alert of
the 2003/2004 winter season to help get homeless people in from the cold. The
current alert, which began on January 13, has now been extended to include
Wednesday, January 21 and Thursday, January 22, 2004.
alert goes into effect when Environment Canada:
Under the alert the following extra services are available to help homeless
- predicts a temperature of -15 C or lower, without wind chill
- issues a wind chill warning for outdoor activity for people in the Toronto
- predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard or ice
The Street Helpline service at 1-866-392-3777 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
- 100 additional emergency sleeping spaces in Toronto shelters
- enhanced street outreach services, including emergency transportation to
shelters, provided by Anishnawbe , Red Cross, Native Men's Residence and St.
- distribution of TTC tickets through drop-in centres and
outreach agencies to help homeless people reach shelters.
"Although Environment Canada is not expecting temperatures
below -15 C tonight, the City has decided to extend the cold alert as a
precautionary measure, as temperatures are predicted to drop to extreme lows
again on Friday," said Elaine Smyer, Manager, Emergency Planning, Toronto
Shelter, Housing and Support.
A team works throughout the winter to monitor weather conditions on the street.
Team members include representatives from Toronto Shelter, Housing and Support,
Toronto Public Health, Toronto Emergency Medical Services, the Canadian Red
Cross Society, Native Men's Residence, Anishnawbe Health Toronto, St. John
Ambulance, Community Information Toronto, Street Helpline and the Toronto
More information about the cold alert program and
Toronto services for homeless persons is available on the Web at http://www.toronto.ca/coldweathera
Planning, Toronto Shelter,
Housing and Support, 416-397-1384; after hours 416-714-2730
Partnership Development, Toronto Shelter, Housing and Support,
Manager, Communication, Toronto
Community and Neighbourhood Services, 416-392-8386; pager