NEWS -- People experiencing homelessness in Greater Sudbury can now access a new overnight warming centre located at the downtown YMCA.

The centre is set to open Monday and will run each night from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m., seven days a week until the end of April.

"It will offer a safe, comfortable, warm place for people to visit, with access to washrooms and light refreshments," the city said in a news release Monday.

“It’s very touching to see how our community partners are responding to help us address the needs of our vulnerable population,” Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger said in the release. “City council will continue to make homelessness initiatives, including shelter from the cold, food and supports, a top priority.”

Greater Sudbury is providing $200,000 in funding to operate the warming centre, which has capacity for 20 people. To help keep everyone safe and reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, YMCA staff will clean and sanitize washrooms and tables and chairs after each use, and perform nightly screening.

“Being in the heart of downtown, we definitely see a growing need for services," said Kendra MacIsaac, general manager of health, fitness and aquatics at the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario. “Being able to provide this service to our most vulnerable people is something the Y is very proud to be a part of.”

For more information on the overnight warming centre, call the YMCA at 705-674-8315.

The Off the Street Emergency Shelter at 200 Larch St. is also open evenings, seven days a week, from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. It provides a warm place to sleep with light refreshments, outreach and referral services to individuals who are homeless. For more information, click here.

The city, in partnership with the Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury and the Homelessness Network, opened a daytime drop-in warming centre in early October. The program will operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 9 p.m. until May 31. The Homelessness Network Day Centre is located at 19 Frood Rd. and offers drop-in services previously offered at Sudbury Arena. For more information on the Day Centre, click here.

For more information on homelessness programs and services offered by Greater Sudbury, click here.