Nanaimo responds to extreme cold by extending hours at warming relief centres

Nanaimo responds to extreme cold by extending hours at warming relief centres
Courtesy: Leona Matte
A homeless person huddles in a sleeping bag on the back steps of a modular building to keep warm in the Oceanside community of Parksville.

The City of Nanaimo has offered funding to extend the hours of several warming centers in response to Wednesday’s arctic inflow.

Those looking for a place to warm up can turn to one of three locations that will be extending their hours for the duration of this week, Feb. 22-24.

“Yes, this is absolutely brutal. Once again we are back into extreme weather. So with us at Risebridge we’ll be opening for at least the next three days and be open 24 hours and try to support as many individuals as possible,” said Jovan Johnson, executive director of Risebridge.

The following organizations will be offering extended services to those in need:

  • 7-10 Club Society: located at St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Chapel Street, will be open an additional three hours per day, from 7 am to 7 pm on Thursday, Feb. 23 through Friday, Feb. 24. The organization can assist 30 to 40 people at one time. The typical hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Unitarian Shelter: The Unitarian Shelter offers 27 overnight shelter beds and, during extreme cold, offers daytime warming centre services to their shelter guests only.
  • Risebridge: Risebridge will provide overnight services by adding additional warming relief hours between 7:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 through Friday, Feb. 24. Regular warming hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day.


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In a news release, Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said that without housing, staying warm on a cold and often wet night in Nanaimo is a tough challenge.

“By providing extra services, the City of Nanaimo and service providers are helping to ensure the unhoused are cared for during the extreme cold,” he said.

For more information on services provided by the City of Nanaimo, visit their website.

This news is following a severe weather warning that has been issued by Environment Canada.

While it may seem like Nanaimo is getting the worst of it, temperatures are still slated to go below freezing in the South. In anticipation of the overnight drop, The city of Victoria will be opening up a warming centre downtown for those seeking shelter tonight.


RELATED: Arctic outflow hits Nanaimo, Greater Victoria remains clear

Much of the Island will be experiencing some degree of freezing temperatures over the next few days.

Overnight in Nanaimo temperatures are expected to drop over the next two days, with Thursday seeing a very cold -8.

Nanaimo’s 7-day forecast | Environment Canada



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