London, Ont., opens 2nd temporary overnight winter shelter

Craig Cooper (left) and Debbie Kramers, a pair of city managers tasked with homeless prevention, walk through 652 Elizabeth St. on Dec. 22, 2020. Andrew Graham / Global News

The City of London has announced the opening of its second temporary overnight resting space as part of its new winter response program.

The resting space at 415 York St. “includes retrofitted, portable buildings with day resting spaces and warm overnight shelter for 30 individuals.”

Read more: TTC seeing makeshift shelter spaces on transit, advocate cites ‘absolute need’ to house people quickly

The city says people staying at the space will receive three meals a day and have access to on-site washroom and shower facilities.

“The location is staffed by outreach agencies and community partners, along with security, 24 hours seven days a week,” a city release says.

“All provincial and public health guidelines, including physical distancing measures and COVID-19 screening protocols are in place.”

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Ontario study finds people on homeless spectrum hit hard by COVID-19' Coronavirus: Ontario study finds people on homeless spectrum hit hard by COVID-19
Coronavirus: Ontario study finds people on homeless spectrum hit hard by COVID-19 – Jan 16, 2021

The York Street overnight resting space opens less than a month after the city unveiled its pop-up shelter site at 652 Elizabeth St.

According to a report from Dec. 1, the winter response program aimed to create 60 overnight spaces with the ability to expand “as staffing supports permit” on top of the already available 200 shelter spaces, 122 hotel rooms and 15 resting spaces.

The response program also aimed to create an additional 40 resting spaces “through an alternate approvals process” and to add another 10 hotel rooms.

Read more: How London, Ont., is keeping unsheltered folks warm this winter at 652 Elizabeth St.

According to the city, the first overnight resting space, which also includes day space, at 652 Elizabeth Street opened on Dec. 23.

Story continues below advertisement

A daytime drop-in space at the Hamilton Road Seniors Centre at 525 Hamilton Rd. opened two days prior on Dec. 21.

The city says a second day resting space “is expected to open within the next few weeks located in the downtown core.”

The winter response program is also made possible through community partners, including the W.I.S.H. (Winter Interim Solution to Homelessness) Coalition, the city says.

— with files from Global News’ Andrew Graham.