Daytime cold weather programs have been established at three locations in the city for people experiencing homelessness.
The District of Nipissing Social Service Administration Board (DNSSAB) says they include The Gathering Place, Northern Pines and the transit terminal on Oak Street.
Dennis Chippa, executive director at The Gathering Place, says they also have an agreement with DNSSAB for a long-term solution and wants the community to know they will operate the shelter next year too.
“We’re not going to do this every fall. We’re not going have this ongoing discussion within the community,” he says. “It’s not fair to the community. It’s not fair to the people we support to have this kind of back and forth for months. ‘Where am I going to be when it’s cold?’, that’s done.”
Chippa says they’ll start looking for a more permanent solution in May when the shelter season is over and have committed to being open on November 1.
The Gathering Place will be operating the daytime cold weather program at Northern Pines.
Chippa says overnight services will continue to be offered at the low-barrier shelter.
“That’s operated by the Crisis Centre, through DNSSAB, and they’re doing a remarkable job,” Chippa says “Where we’re going to be at the Chippewa Street location, the Crisis Centre has been really good to step up and allow us to use that space.”
For daytime cold weather programs, The Gathering Place is open from 8:30 am to 4 pm and can extend hours during extreme cold weather days.
Northern Pines (Chippewa Street) will be open from 8 am to 6 pm, starting the first week of January.
Hours for the transit terminal on Oak Street, are from 8:30 am until 8:30 pm on weekdays and 9 am until 5 pm on weekends.