Shelters ramp up efforts amidst extreme cold temperatures
Across the region, shelters are packed, with some overcapacity as an extreme cold warnings effect Simcoe County.
According to Environment Canada, the region could see temperatures dip near minus 30 with the wind chill by early Sunday morning,
As many look to escape the frigid temperatures, local shelters are ramping up efforts to keep the most vulnerable warm.
In Innisfil, Town Hall, the recreational centre, and some libraries have been opened to the public over the weekend as warming centres.
The Lighthouse in Orillia is open all hours where no one will be turned away.
Youth Haven in Barrie is the only youth shelter in the county which is always near capacity. All 21 beds are taken including the couches.
Lucy Gowers, Youth Haven Executive Director says there’s just not enough room for everyone.
“It's sad,” said Gowers. “But we actually turn away anywhere from six to eight youth on average every month just because we don't have the capacity.”
Michael Prince is a client of Youth Haven and says he’d be lost with the support of the centre.
“It's keeping me out of the cold. It’s helping me focus on the things I need to do because I don't want to be here my entire life,” says Prince. “So it's giving me the chance to better myself.”