Support for those affected by Warming Room overflow emergency shelter closure

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Peterborough, ON – With the Warming Room overflow emergency shelter closing as of July 1, 2019 until it finds a new location, the City is working closely with community partner agencies to support people who use the service.

Anyone who needs emergency shelter is asked to visit Peterborough Social Services at 178 Charlotte St. or contact Social Services by phone at 705-748-8830 between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, or at 705-927-0096 overnight and on weekends.

The Warming Room’s lease for space at Murray Street Baptist Church expired at the end of 2018 and was extended until the end of June 2019. The Warming Room continues to look for a new location to provide the service that is funded in part through a contract with the City.

The City is working closely with Brock Mission emergency shelter, Youth Emergency Shelter, and the Warming Room to help the people who use the Warming Room to find alternative shelter, said Ellen Armstrong, the City’s Social Services manager.

“It’s a community wide effort for people to go through the system and find the right location for them,” she said.

Housing and shelter service operators are reviewing daily capacity and making adjustments where possible to connect more people to their programs and services with the goal of getting more people into permanent housing whenever possible, Armstrong said.

“That’s the preference, to find people more permanent housing rather than having people in emergency shelters,” she said.

One night this week there were 29 people using the Warming Room.

Social Services and its partner agencies in the community connect clients who are looking for housing with available programs that support housing.

When more permanent housing and emergency shelter spaces aren’t available to accommodate someone looking for housing, the City can help someone find other temporary shelter while they are connected with housing services.

The City is actively reaching out to users of the Warming Room to assist with the disruption of the service.

The City is also working closely with Fourcast, PARN – Your Community AIDS Network, Salvation Army, Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, and 360 Degree Clinic on outreach efforts for people experiencing homelessness.

“Thank you to Murray Street Baptist Church for welcoming the Warming Room into your space over the last five years,” Armstrong said. “Your empathy and kindness for the people who use this service is appreciated by the community.”

The Warming Room is an overflow shelter service for when the main emergency shelters are unable to accommodate people. The Warming Room overnight service is operated by Warming Room Community Ministries through a contract with the City of Peterborough.

One Roof, also operated by Warming Room Community Ministries, is a drop-in centre and meal program that’s supported by the City of Peterborough. One Roof continues to operate at St. John’s Anglican Church on Brock Street, including its warming room and cooling room extended hours during extreme cold and heat alerts.

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For further information, members of the media are invited to contact the undersigned:

Brendan Wedley

Manager of Communication Services

City of Peterborough

500 George Street North

Peterborough, ON  K9H 3R9

705-742-7777 ext. 1636