Hope Haven extending its hours as cold weather grips region

Chatham Hope Haven men's shelter, April 19, 2017. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Chatham-Kent’s men’s shelter is extending its hours to get more people in from the cold as temperatures are expected to drop overnight.

Hope Haven will stay open through Monday until 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Executive Director Loree Bailey said when the temperature drops into the double digits, the shelter will open its doors for 24 hours. She said the shelter can hold up to 10 residents at any given time but noted having the ability to expand the capacity if needed.

“We can expand the capacity up to 15 and if we need even more than that, we have the ability to do so,” said Bailey. “It’s really based on what’s needed.”

According to Environment Canada, the temperature is expected to drop to -14 C Monday night with winds gusting up to 50 kilometers per hour. The wind is expected to create a wind chill of -24 C.

Bailey said operations at the shelter have been steady. However, said she that can change based on the day and time of the month.

“This is the first time we have had to open overnight, but unfortunately, I think it will be the first of many times,” said Bailey. “I have to watch the weather every day just to be sure. We don’t want anybody to have to stay outside.”

The shelter is located at 183 Wellington Street West in Chatham.

Transportation can be arranged for those outside the downtown area, including areas outside of those listed, by contacting the Homeless Response Line at 519-354-6228.