Warming Centre set to open at the Gathering Place
Dennis Chippa at the Gathering Place announcing the Warming Centre. (Kortney Kenney MyWestNipissingNow.com)
The North Bay Warming Centre is opening for its seventh year, but this time at the Gathering Place.
For the past few months, the Centre was attempting to find a more suitable location in the city after residing inside the Triple Links building for the past few years. Originally the search for a new location was necessary as the Warming Center had outgrown its previous location according to the Centre’s Facebook page.
The Warming Centre had no success in finding a new location so the Gathering Place has stepped up to be used as such in the winter.
“There was a number of agencies that were unable to become a Warming Centre,” Dennis Chippa of the Gathering Place said. “I think some were unable and some were unwilling. I had some suggestions around City Hall, I had suggestions around some city buildings and we were denied.”
As for the logistics, the Centre is still in discussion with the city’s Building and Fire Department.
“We have been told by the Building Department that in order to put cots down, we need to go to an architect,” Chippa explained. “They suggested we hire an engineer and that we do an application for a potential build. We don’t have the money for that. We found out that we are within the by law for us to have cots.
“We don’t think the city is clear on what we want to do. All we want to do is move four tables into the kitchen and provide cots in the dining area. That is all we plan on doing. I think people are going to die in the snow, I have said that from the beginning. I think people recognize that.”
An expected opening date has not yet been determined. The staff of the Gathering Place and Warming Centre are currently working in volunteer recruitment to be prepared for a potential opening should temperatures warrant.