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Snowfall in Simcoe County prompts warming centres to prepare for winter season

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The snow started in many parts of the region Monday night, but most of it was gone by Tuesday afternoon.

However, it is a sure sign of the changing temperatures, and that has communities getting ready to open warming centres for those who need protection from the cold.

"What the warming centre funding is allowing us to do is extend our drop-in centre to include warming services from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm seven days a week, including holidays," says Sarah Tilley from the Gilbert Centre.

This year, the warming centre at the Gilbert Centre in Barrie will be open daily regardless of the temperature. It has space for about 30 people at a time.

"We have not seen this level of homelessness ever. We need to be increasing our capacity in the city and not just in Barrie but all of Simcoe and Muskoka," says Tilley.

The warming centre in Bradford officially opens its doors on Wednesday. It will only be operational throughout the day from when the temperature hits -10.

"We are the only warming centre in South Simcoe. Last year we had up to seven people a day visit our centre during the winter time. We are planning to have at least ten people maximum in our facility this winter. We hope the need isn't that great," says Jacquie Ridout from the Bradford Warming Centre.

The facility and staff will move to a new full-time permanent location at 177 Church Street. That will become Bradford's new Community Hub building.

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