Overnight warming room to open as respite centre for unsheltered residents

Cobourg, ON – December 15, 2020 – Starting December 21, an overnight Warming Room will be available to the community, where residents in need can take shelter from the cold and access washrooms and light refreshments. Implemented as an additional service to existing homelessness system resources including emergency shelter services and diversion supports, the Warming Room will be located at Columbus Hall, 232 Spencer Street, East in Cobourg. This service will be offered seven days a week from 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m until the end of March 2021.

“Northumberland County and homelessness system partners continue to plan and implement coordinated supports for vulnerable members of the community and ensure service availability during the COVID-19 pandemic,” states County Director of Community and Social Services Lisa Horne. “Implemented as a winter relief measure, the Warming Room will be a respite centre where residents in need can access a safe space to keep warm during the night. Community partners are expanding services and increasing capacity within the homelessness system through collaboration and shared resources in order to remain responsive to local needs.”

The Warming Room will be managed through a partnership between Northumberland County, Green Wood Coalition and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church. This initiative is being funded with Social Services Relief Funding, announced by the provincial government to enhance social services during COVID-19. Delivering important flexibility to create local solutions that address local needs, this funding is supporting a range of homelessness prevention measures in Northumberland that reinforce a coordinated response.

“The global pandemic has increased the level of insecurity experienced by already at-risk populations in our community. We are pleased to be coordinating this program as an important resource for people in need,” says Green Wood Coalition Executive Director David Sheffield. “We will be working closely with St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and Northumberland County to provide this space for respite and warmth, as another way to walk alongside people who are homeless and hurting in Northumberland.”

For more information about resources for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Northumberland, visit Northumberland County's Housing and Shelter page.