Toronto - 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.

Extreme Cold Weather Alerts open an additional 80 emergency shelter spaces in Toronto. An extended outreach effort sees additional vans patrolling city streets overnight checking on homeless people and providing them with transportation to shelter. TTC tickets are also available at drop-in centres, to help homeless people reach shelters.

The City’s Hostel Services issues an Extreme Cold Weather Alert based on information from Environment Canada that predicts Toronto will experience a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower without wind chill; a wind chill worthy of a warning to curb outdoor activity; and/or extreme weather, such as a blizzard or ice storm. The Director of Hostel Services can also call an alert or put on extra services at her discretion when there are concerns about the safety of homeless people.

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