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If you see someone in need during extreme weather (cold -15, major storm) please call 211. If their life may be in immediate danger, call 911.
If the individual has transportation or is able to get there on their own, they will be provided the location of the warming center and the Centre will be called to let them know someone is on the way.
If an individual is in need of transportation and they are within an appropriate distance of the Warming Center (within Metro Halifax area) 211 will work with the Warming Centre and a taxi to the centre will be arranged.
Extreme Weather Protocol
Service providers who work with vulnerable individuals have developed an extreme weather protocol. The protocol has been in place since winter 2015/16.
This partnership includes various charitable funders, private sponsors and government funders to provide the extreme weather program.
An extreme weather event is determined by Public Health based on the following criteria:
- -15C and/or a windchill of -20C
- severe winter storm which is defined as 25cm or more
There are four programs that have resulted from this collaboration:
Warming Centre – when an extreme weather event occurs, a daytime warming centre is opened at St Matthew’s Church. It provides a warm space during the day and helps each person find a bed in a shelter for the night should they choose to access shelters. There will be snacks and hot drinks available throughout the day
The warming centre is staffed by frontline shelter staff from various agencies, has food and warm drinks, and is open when some nighttime shelters are closed. It also provides an alternative for shelter users from staying indoors all day at the same shelter they may have slept in. You can read more about this here.
Transport – getting staff to shelters when transit and taxis are down is a challenge, and hard to transport those in need to shelter. Pirate Offroad Nation has become a partner with Adsum House and to drive workers through winter storms. Members have received a criminal records check funded by the program. Their amazing volunteer service was profiled here.
Overnight Accommodation – The Delta and Marriott hotels in Halifax have provided service provide hotel rooms for staff to reduce travel and give breaks. This helps to keep the workers safe, so they are not on the road during storms, and makes sure they are nearby for shift changes.
Contact centre – when a weather event is underway residents can call 211 if they see someone in need of shelter, and 211 can now connect with service providers and make sure help is on the way. The extreme on call cellphone, assigned to extreme weather protocol partnered service providers on a rotating basis, creates a single point of contact for 211 to call.
Extreme Weather Partners
Adsum for Women, Salvation Army, Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH) of the North End Community Health Centre, Out of the Cold, Shelter NS, and Phoenix Youth.
Department of Community Services, Delta Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Pirate Offroad Nation, Telus Community Foundation. A special thank you to the parishioners of St. Matthew’s United Church for generously allowing the program to use their space.
Original Founding Funders:
The program was funded by a variety of sources prior to Deparment of Community Services stepping in.Dexel Properties, Grafton Developments, Southwest Properties, Starfish Properties, Crombie REIT, Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Spring Garden Area Business Association, with the support of Halifax Office of the CAO Jacques Dube, His Worship Mayor Mike Savage Savage, Deputy Mayor Waye Mason, Councillors Lindell Smith and Shawn Cleary.
We are ALWAYS looking for support! New partners welcome. Contact Waye Mason for more information on how you can help.
Donate today: Please consider a donation via the Adsum House website. Make sure you note the donation is for the Extreme Weather program.