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February 23, 2005
Extreme cold weather alert called
Toronto Hostel Services has issued an extreme cold weather alert, effective
immediately, to help get homeless people in from the cold. The alert will be in
effect until noon on Thursday, February 24, 2005.

An alert goes into effect when Environment Canada:
  • predicts a temperature of -15 C or lower, without wind chill
  • issues a wind chill warning for outdoor activity for people in the Toronto area and/or
  • predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard or ice storm.

Under the alert, the following extra services are available to help homeless
  • 97 additional emergency sleeping spaces in Toronto shelters
  • enhanced street outreach services, including emergency transportation to shelters, provided by Anishnawbe Health, Red Cross, Native Men's Residence and Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre
  • distribution of emergency TTC tickets through drop-in centres and outreach agencies to help homeless people reach shelters.

The Street Helpline service at 1-866-392-3777 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 call this number if they see a homeless
person sleeping outside.

For more information, visit the City's Web site at eralert.

Media contacts:
Elaine Smyer, Emergency Planning, Toronto Shelter, Housing & Support,
416-397-1384; 416-714-2730 (after hours)
Cynthia Ross, Partnership Development, Toronto Shelter, Housing & Support,
416-392-0546; 416-435-3838 (cell)



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