The Town of Orangeville and the County of Dufferin are happy to announce they are supporting an ‘Out of the Cold’ Program which will be offered by Choices Youth Shelter for Dufferin County residents experiencing homelessness.

Funding will be available for set up and operating the service.

“It’s been a really tough few years for Dufferin County residents. We’re still recovering from a global pandemic while battling a higher cost of living, resulting in more residents finding themselves facing extreme financial hardships,” said Mayor Lisa Post. “We are happy for the opportunity to work with Dufferin County and Choices to provide a service supporting those experiencing homelessness in our community.”

The program is offered at the Choices Youth Shelter located at 59 Town Line and will operate seven days a week from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Five unisex beds will be available, and meals, showers, and washrooms will be offered while the facility is open. Staff at Out of the Cold will be trained in supporting vulnerable populations.

“Dufferin County is proud to support the Out of the Cold Program to help those in immediate need in our community. We are dedicated to continuing to work with our partners to support those experiencing homelessness in Dufferin County, but more than short-term solutions are needed,” said Wade Mills, Warden, Dufferin County. “By collaborating with local stakeholders and agencies, we will address issues like the supply of affordable housing and end homelessness in the longer term, together.”

The Out of the Cold program will open on March 6. The program will run until April 1, 2023; however, the program may be extended if the weather remains cold into April.

“The Board of Directors along with the staff from Choices Youth Shelter are committed to providing this emergency service that will support the needs of our communities most vulnerable people,” said Erin Goodyear, Director, Choices Youth Shelter. “Choices Out of the Cold program will provide a safe and warm space for those in need and offer additional support should participants be interested.”

Providing this service is a big step in addressing homelessness in Dufferin County and aligns with the ongoing goals of the Town of Orangeville, Dufferin County, and Choices to provide support to our vulnerable populations.

Those who need to access the Out of the Cold program do not require pre-registration and can show up at 59 Town Line between 9 p.m. – 11p.m. daily to access the services. The program is for Dufferin County residents only, but otherwise there are no pre-requisitions like income, age or gender.