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Temporary warming centre in the works

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The Gathering Place is opening a temporary daytime warming centre in North Bay.

Dennis Chippa, Executive Director, says there is certainly a need.

“We’ve seen it. We’ve seen it over the last few weeks with the folks coming into our building.  We’ve been opening our doors to a few people at a time during the last month, but it just wasn’t enough,” he says. 

The centre will be located in the former Health Unit building on Commercial Street. 

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Chippa says they’ll check out the building over the next day or so, then expect to open on Monday, Feb. 7.

“The plan is to have some tables and chairs, food and snacks and let folks come in and warm up. If they have to stay all day, they have to,” he says. As far as staffing goes, Chippa says they’ll be dedicating their outreach staff and experienced volunteers from the kitchen.

“They know the folks coming in, the folks coming in know them, we have a healthy sense of respect and boundaries with them.  It’s going to keep them safe and it’s going to keep our staff and our volunteers safe,” He says.  “Most importantly it’s going to keep these folks at least safe during the day when we’re talking about those extreme temperatures that we’re going to have over the next six weeks.” 

Chippa says the hours of operation are expected to be 8:30 am to 4 pm. 

“It’s going to be just a daytime thing and it’s really very temporary.  It’s just going to be for a few weeks as we get through February and into a little bit of March,” he says.  

He says they’ll provide breakfast and lunch and then at the end of the day people can get supper at The Gathering Place and then move on to the low barrier shelter.   

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