Greater Sudbury looking for cooling station space
SUDBURY -- The YMCA has provided warming centre services to the vulnerable since November, but as pandemic restrictions begin to ease, it needs the space to transition back to core programs and services.
The daytime and overnight warming centre will close at the end of the month.
"It went really well," said Kendra MacIsaac, vice-president of health and wellness at the Sudbury YMCA.
"I know this population is one that is often ignored and you know, we were very happy to make new friends and treat people with kindness, respect and empathy and for that we will be forever grateful."
The city confirmed it's looking for a new space and service provider to open a cooling centre.
"We learned last year that we didn't have enough facilities open, this year we are going to make sure that we are ahead of the game," said Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc. "We need to provide the washrooms, we need to provide those cooling stations, we need to provide a lot of things for these people to make sure that they don't get heatstroke and end up in the hospital."
Officials that work with the vulnerable said the homeless population is growing in Sudbury and basic services are desperately needed to replace what was offered at the Y.
"A lot of our folks have heat-related illnesses, so cooling stations, water, washrooms, those are the big needs coming up in the months to come," said Lisa Long, executive director of the Samaritan Centre.
People who work with the homeless also said news the Y is closing the warming centre is stressful for people with no place to call home.
"We are hearing anxiety from clients, not knowing what is next for them, what might be available or not for them," said Ray Landry, the co-ordination of the Homelessness Network in Sudbury.
"Along with our community partners, we are trying to figure out what spaces might be useable to offer to clients who need a place to be especially during harsh weather days."
More tents are popping up in Memorial Park and people have moved into a gazebo in the park once again.
"We are seeing some new faces in town still -- that trend still continues," said Landry.
CTV has learned the city is close to securing a cooling centre facility downtown.
An announcement is expected in the coming days.