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NEWS RELEASE Cold Weather Policy accommodates 697 individuals THOMPSON, May 5th, 2014 – The City of Thompson is pleased to report that the Cold Weather Policy was activated on 69 occurrences and housed 697 individuals in an outdoor warming shelter during the 2013/2014 winter season. “The Cold Weather Policy has been a real success for our community,” remarked Mayor Tim Johnston. “Not only have we provided safety for those vulnerable to the extreme cold, but we’ve worked with our partners to provide a local solution to a local issue- to me that’s a win. Now we can address the root causes with a long term approach.” The Cold Weather Policy, effective from November 1, 2013 through April 1, 2014, was activated when temperatures dipped below -35 with the wind chill and the homeless shelter reached capacity, at which time an outdoor warming shelter was made available. Within this period there were no fatalities due to hypothermia. “The execution of this policy was particularly crucial this year given our extreme cold temperatures,” commented Paullette Simkins, Executive Director for the Canadian Mental Health Association in Thompson. “Thompson Homeless Shelter along with the City of Thompson and Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) made the safety of 679 individuals possible. I am so proud to be a part of a Community that ensure the safety of all its members” The Thompson RCMP detachment observed a drastic decrease in the number of clients suffering from weather related health matters, which often results in EMS and medical treatment. There was also a decrease in clients seeking to be lodged in cells in order to avoid the elements. Inspector John Duff also observed the positive impact the policy had on the health and wellness of a vulnerable population. Helga Bryant, Northern Health Region CEO, said the impact of the Cold Weather Policy was noticeable in the Emergency Department of Thompson General Hospital this winter. She felt it was clear that those without homes were safer and more cared for as a result of the policy. The health region explicitly welcomed the policy and encouraged its’ continuance. "KTC appreciates the efforts and the leadership demonstrated this past winter by the various partners in ensuring that alternative shelters to accommodate those needing that support was organized,” said Sharon McKay, CEO for KTC, regarding the initiative. “As we know, this was the coldest winter we had on


 record and if we had a small part in preserving life then the efforts, by far, were well worth the cause. Thank you to all." The City of Thompson would like to thank Neighborhoods Alive and the Thompson Pentecostal Assembly for supporting the Cold Weather Policy. Media Contact Gary Ceppetelli City Manager, City of Thompson 204-677-7951 gceppetelli@thompson.ca ###

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Cold Weather Policy Press Release  

Press Release reporting on a multi-stakeholder initiative in Thompson, Manitoba.

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