HURON COUNTY – The Omicron variant has prompted the Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home emergency cold weather shelter to extend its hours to include refuge during the day for those in need.
Huron County issued a press release on Jan. 10 to make the announcement, saying, “By extending shelter hours, staff are able to continue offering guests overnight accommodation, plus add a day use centre.”
The release said that the shelter also provides wrap-around services to its clients, including meals.
“Extended shelter hours is welcome news, particularly in response to the current provincial restrictions that have required many businesses to close to the public,” Barbara Hall, director of social and property services said. “Day use hours ensure washrooms and warm spaces are available to those who may otherwise be forced to face the winter elements.”
The shelter, which opened in 2020, is staffed by the Heart to Home Stability Team. They have been specially trained in trauma-informed care, substance use, and mental health services.
“I extend my heartfelt thanks to the staff and partners involved in this project,” Huron County Warden Glen McNeil said. “The pandemic has required all of us to shift and pivot many times, often with little or no notice. The team responsible for the Out of the Cold shelter have again worked swiftly to ensure the safety of our community. Thank you to the entire team.”
Since the opening, 16 individuals have been permanently homed with this group’s assistance, and they plan to continue this vital work in 2022.
For more information on Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home and the topic of homelessness in Huron, please visit www.HuronCounty.ca/housing.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times