A second Warming Centre location is opening this winter in North Bay with 18 beds in the former gd2go restaurant on the 400 block of Main East.

Nipissing Mental Health Housing and Support Services is partnering with community agencies to open the second location.

That brings the total to at least 30 overnight beds, including the dozen or more spots that will be located at The Gathering Place on Cassells Street.

Dennis Chippa is executive director of the Gatheirng Place.

He says this announcement means the need for a warm bed will be filled on cold winter nights.

“We were genuinely concerned even with the maximum (17 or 18 cots) would have been enough. Between what we can do and what can be done at gd2go I think it’s going to be exactly what we need,” he says.

The two warming centres will operate seven days a week from 7 pm to 7 am.

Organizers hope the 2nd Warming Centre will be open by December 1st.

Ben Farrella is owner of gd2go and says he wanted to get involved in a community solution.

He believes it makes business sense too.

“It is good for business in the long run. People have a conscience and can see when organizations step forward and it makes a difference in who people choose to patronize,” Farella says.

Mary Davis is executive director of Nipissing Mental Health Housing and Support Services says this is a temporary solution to be at two locations.

She says the community need is being addressed.

“We think 18 beds here will be enough here along with the 10-15 at The Gathering Place. So for now we’ll have enough beds,” Davis says.

City Councillor Dave Mendicino says this community solution came together because many organizations wanted to make a difference.

“The District of Social Services Administration Board is stepping up with $30,000, the city with $15,000 and People For Equal Partnership in Mental Health with $20,000. This is truly a community effort,” he says.

(photo by station staff)


Filed under: gd2go, north-bay-warming-centre, the-gathering-place