New daytime warming spaces coming to Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — The City of Winnipeg is setting two buildings to be used as temporary warming spaces to help support Winnipeggers experiencing homelessness during the extreme cold.

On Thursday, Jay Shaw, the manager of the city’s emergency operations centre, said spaces will be opening up in both the Millennium Library and the St. Boniface Library starting Friday.

“These two spaces will be available for our residents who need a temporary spot to seek a reprieve from the cold,” he said.

The Millennium Library will open as a temporary warming space daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the next couple of weeks “as is required by the weather,” Shaw said.

St. Boniface Library will open as a temporary warming space Friday and Saturday, but will close Sunday and Monday. It will reopen beginning on Tuesday of next week.

Shaw said the decision was made after speaking with End Homelessness Winnipeg. The organization said there is an “urgent need” for additional daytime and weekend warming spaces, particularly in Downtown and St. Boniface, due to the extreme cold.

“We’re in an extreme weather alert right now,” he said. “Even when the extreme weather alert ends, we’ll assess and take a look at what the needs are. It doesn’t need to be -10 C or -5 C to say that it’s not cold. We’re going to do what is needed for the next couple of weeks, and we’ll assess.”

Shaw said the two facilities will not be open to members of the public for library services, since the city is still finalizing plans for reopening. The current structure of holds pickup and returns remains in place for the public.

View original article here Source