Media Advisory - Extreme cold weather services now in effect for homeless people



    TORONTO, Jan. 3 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto has activated additional
support services to help get homeless people in from the cold by calling an
extreme cold weather alert. The alert is in effect until further notice.
    While City services for homeless people are focused on permanent housing,
when severe winter weather is forecast, the priority becomes one of immediate
safety.
    Year-round, the City funds extensive services for people who are
homeless, including emergency shelters, drop-in centres, Streets to Homes
assistance to find and keep permanent housing, housing help and 24 hour street
outreach services throughout the city. Throughout the winter, more services
are available.
    During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, street outreach workers continue to
urge the homeless to go inside and provide transportation to shelters for
overnight respite. In addition to ongoing outreach, during an alert:

    
    -   Street outreach is increased, focusing solely on warning clients of
        danger and transporting them to warm places
    -   TTC tokens are available at a number of drop in centres so people
        have transportation to shelters
    -   More than 100 agencies are advised of the impending extreme weather
        and reminded of the danger this poses to vulnerable clients
    -   160 additional shelter spaces are added
    -   Shelters relax service restrictions.

    An alert is called 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, and/or
    -   predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard, ice storm or
        sudden drops in temperature.

    How to get an emergency shelter bed

    -   Adults and youth requiring a shelter bed should call 416-338-4766, 24
        hours.
    -   Families needing emergency shelter should call Central Family Intake
        416-397-5637, 24 hours.
    

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality,
innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government
is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.
    For more information, visit www.toronto.ca/housing.

    
                     Visit our website at www.toronto.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Rob Andrusevich, Strategic
Communications, (416) 200-3660


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