News Release - March 12, 2021: City of Toronto to open two Warming Centres tonight to help those experiencing homelessness

24-hour respite sites

Respite sites are located throughout the city and offer a place to rest, meals, service referrals and programming.  Calling Central Intake in advance is recommended to minimize unnecessary travel in keeping with physical distancing guidelines provided by Toronto Public Health. Search on an interactive map for these programs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, please assist clients seeking shelter to contact Central Intake to be referred to a 24-hour respite site or emergency shelter. 

Day-time drop-ins

Drop-ins provide a range of services that may include food, healthcare, showers, laundry, information and referrals, and social and recreational activities to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  During COVID-19, most drop-in programs remain open, although many have adjusted their services to accommodate physical distancing measures. Locations are available at: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/housing-shelter/homeless-help/#dropin

Out of the Cold programs (OOTC)

Previously offered meals and overnight shelter during the winter to homeless individuals at different community locations. Given the program model, rotation of locations each night and use of volunteers, the program is not feasible to operate during the pandemic within Ministry of Health guidelines for congregate settings. For winter 2020/2021, new hotel spaces will be offered to replace the overnight capacity previously provided by the OOTC program. The rooms will be available between mid-November and April, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be run by Dixon Hall. To access a space, please assist clients to contact Central Intake.

Warming Centres

Warming Centres are activated when an Extreme Cold Weather Alert is issued.  Services vary, depending the facility, and provide at minimum snacks, a place to rest and referrals to emergency shelter.

Warming Centres become available by 7 p.m. on the day an Extreme Cold Weather Alert is called. They close at noon on the day the alert is terminated.

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