Hamilton funds The Hub overnight warming center until March 31, 2023
The City of Hamilton is funding The Hub downtown warm-up space to expand its hours of operation through March 31, 2023.
Effective immediately, the city has contracted with The Hub on Vine Street to include walk-in services from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. every evening – in addition to the centre’s regular hours of operation from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. h – until March 31.
This expansion of services is in response to community outcry during a period of cold weather over the Christmas weekend. “This much needed support for our homeless friends would not have been possible without all of you,” said Jennifer Bonner, Managing Director of The Hub. « We are eternally grateful for your advocacy and genuine community engagement. »
Bonner said the city had also agreed to retroactively cover the costs since December 24 – the day the city canceled its cold weather alert and community donations showed up to cover the costs that night so the reception center remains open and provides respite to those in need.
On Tuesday, the city announced an extension of the Hub’s hours through Jan. 2. On Wednesday, she announced the extension until the end of March.
CBC Hamilton spoke to someone named Robbie J. earlier this week, who said he went to the Hub on Tuesday night to warm up.
« It should be open all week, there is a need. There are good people here but they need a bigger facility, they limit it to 20-25 people here at a time, » he said. -he declares.
He said he felt the city was « focused on becoming a city of entertainment » but was leaving people like him behind.
Last week, when Environment Canada warned that Hamilton and Niagara were about to be hit by a « significant winter storm ». The city had issued a cold alert on Dec. 23 but canceled the alert on Saturday because temperatures were below cold alert requirements, she said.
Mayor Andrea Horwath and several city councilors responded to the service gap on Monday and accelerated the use of $125,000 one-time space warming funding that was approved in early December.
« Hamiltonians have my commitment that the City will continue to work diligently toward next steps and solutions to protect the most vulnerable in our community, » Horwath said in a statement announcing the extended hours.
« Thank you to the members of Council who have reached out and thank you to the staff for putting these interim measures in place. »
New Hub hours of operation are set to complement ongoing services and walk-in programs:
- YWCA Carol Anne’s Place: Overnight drop-in from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. for women and non-binary people.
- Mission Services Willow’s Place: open daily from 9am to 8:30pm for women.
- Wesley Day Centre: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Living Rock Youth Resources: Daily drop-in from 1 to 4 p.m. for youth.
And while Environment Canada calls for mild temperatures this weekend, the Central Memorial Recreation Center is also open for extended hours on December 31, January 1 and January 2, until 10 p.m.
Bonner previously said several changes were needed to meet the needs of the city’s homeless population. « [First] and above all we want to say that housing is [the] real solution,” she said.
She also said there were concerns about the cold alert threshold, the availability and restrictions of beds in shelters, the limited options for those outside the city center and the lack of « safe use » spaces in shelters.