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Shelters Expand Operations Amid Extreme Cold

By Brad Perry Feb 3, 2023 | 5:58 AM

Shelters and warming centres in Saint John are expanding their operations due to the extreme cold.

An Arctic airmass combined with strong northwest winds will give wind chill values as cold as minus 45.

The extreme cold will move into the region starting Friday morning and will stick around until Sunday when temperatures will moderate and winds will subside.

“In response to the extreme cold weather Saint John is experiencing, front-line agencies, community partners, the Department of Social Development and the City of Saint John have collaborated to support expanded options for shelters and warming centres throughout the City over the weekend,” the city said in a news release on Thursday.

An additional 17 beds have been added to the city’s three shelters, bringing the total number to 97.

Outflow Men’s Shelter will have a maximum capacity of 32 beds, an increase of two. Coverdale Centre for Women will have 15 beds (an increase of five) while the out-of-the-cold shelter at the former Belyea Arena will have 50 beds (an increase of 10).

David Dobbelsteyn, acting director of growth and community planning for the city, could not say how long the increased capacity will remain in place.

“Each shelter closely monitors capacity requirements based on usage and needs. The capacity numbers are reflective of those needs at any given time and could therefore change,” Dobbelsteyn said in an email.

The Out of the Cold shelter, which is normally open from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m., will also be open 24 hours a day until 8 a.m. Sunday.

Outflow and the Coverdale Centre for Women are already open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition, Stone Church on Carleton Street will have a daytime warming centre from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. Refreshments and snacks will also be provided.


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