Hope Haven in Chatham will act as a warming centre this winter with around-the-clock hours when the area is experiencing harsh weather.
The shelter, located at 183 Wellington Street West in Chatham, has been used as an overnight warming centre in past years. The facility’s hours will extend to 24 hours a day when Chatham-Kent declares an extreme cold weather event.
"In the event that temperatures reach -5 degrees Celsius for a sustained period, [the municipality] will post on social media and email community partners to advise that Chatham Hope Haven will extend their hours to 24/7 for the duration that the temperature remains below the set point," the municipality said in a release on Tuesday. "Chatham Hope Haven will keep their upstairs chapel light on to signal to the community that they are open beyond regular hours."
Transportation can be arranged for those that are outside of the downtown core, including other areas of Chatham-Kent, by contacting the Homeless Response Line at 519-354-6628.
Municipal offices in Blenheim, Chatham, Ridgetown, Tilbury, and Wallaceburg will offer space for people to stop in, sit, and warm up during regular business hours (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Employment and Social Services will offer the same service at their main office lobby located on the 1st floor of the Community Human Services Building at 435 Grand Avenue West in Chatham during regular business hours (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
During extreme cold weather, residents are encouraged to call or visit friends and neighbours who may be at risk, and keep pets inside.
Anyone experiencing homelessness should call the homeless response line at 519-354-6628 (24/7).