In light of the cold weather expected this evening, OPH would like to share information regarding places where people can warm up. Ottawa has six emergency shelters that are available to those who may be experiencing homelessness.
The Salvation Army operates a Mobile Outreach Van and responds to calls made to the City's Call Line. They encourage people to seek indoor shelter and are able to transport them to places they can seek refuge such as emergency shelters. In addition, they have warm clothing and other resources.
The City's 3-1-1 Line is available to respond to calls 24 hours a day. Calls are answered by the City of Ottawa Call Centre on a priority basis and referred to appropriate service providers. 9-1-1 is available for emergency situations.
Ottawa Public Health has an interactive map of places to warm up during the day in Ottawa on the OPH Cold Weather website. You can enter an address with a street number and street name and get a list of the 20 closest warm spaces where everyone is welcome.
Ottawa Public Health issues Frostbite Advisories (-25 windchill or colder) and Warnings (-35 C windchill or colder) via social media and by email to community agencies that assist people at risk during cold weather to alert them when Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) forecasts windchill values at or below these thresholds.
More information is available on Ottawa Public Health's website: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/extreme-cold-weather-assistance-to-homeless-persons.aspx
OPH is very concerned for the health and safety of people experiencing homelessness during extreme weather, such as what we are experiencing now. The City is closely monitoring the situation right now to ensure that the right supports are in place.