Extreme cold weather alert in force

    TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto has issued an extreme cold
weather alert, effective immediately, to help get homeless people in from the
cold. This is in effect until further notice.
    An extreme cold weather alert is issued when extremely cold weather is
forecast. This type of severe cold weather is hazardous to homeless people who
are sleeping outside.
    Street Helpline operates 24 hours a day to help homeless people and
front-line workers know where to find shelter and other services. Street
Helpline can be called toll-free at 1-866-392-3777 from any payphone. Members
of the public can phone this number if they see a homeless person sleeping

    An alert is in effect when Environment Canada:

    -   predicts a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower, without wind
    -   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 people:

    -   80 additional emergency sleeping spaces in Toronto shelters
    -   enhanced street outreach services, including emergency transportation
        to shelters, provided by Agincourt Community Services Association
        Inc., Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre and Salvation Army -
    -   emergency TTC tickets are available at a number of drop-in centres to
        help homeless people reach shelters.

    For more information, visit www.toronto.ca/housing.

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of more than 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 more than 50 awards for
quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto's government is
dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

                     Visit our website at www.toronto.ca

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Bryon Clarke, Emergency
Planning, Shelter, Support & Housing Administration, (416) 392-9199 (office);
(416) 714-2750 (after hours); Peggy Byrne, Partnership Development, Shelter,
Support & Housing Administration, (416) 392-0051 (office); (416) 575-9753
(after hours)

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