Winter Response

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The City of London's Winter Response Plan

The City of London's winter response plan aims to ensure all Londoners living unsheltered this winter have a warm place to lay their head and have access to resources and programs to help support their journey towards housing stability. This year's plan involves collaboration with many community partners and organizations to create new community spaces for the winter months and allow for tailored services to meet the various needs of Londoners experiencing homelessness.

The year's winter response plan will use a multi-pronged approach that will help deliver services and supports to individuals living unsheltered, including those suffering from trauma, addiction, and mental health. This approach will include:

  • Drop-in Spaces that offer both day and night stays ranging from zero to eight hours;
  • Mobile Community Winter Shelter for stays up to four months.

This year's plan also reflects the lessons learned from last year's emergency winter response program. This year's plan will allow a more decentralization of services and enhanced housing-focused and Indigenous service delivery model. Take a read about each location below.



In Out of the Cold - Day Drop-In Space

Everyone needs a space to come in out of the cold, meet up with friends and share their day, including individuals living unsheltered. The City's winter response plan will have once centrally located daytime "Coffee House" style day drop-in space at the YMCA central location.

This location will be focused on ensuring individuals have a safe space to get warm, have an opportunity to rest and receive a hot meal. This location will accommodate approximately 70 people at a time during daytime hours. Agency staff will be on-site for the duration of open hours to service as building attendants for any facility needs and requirements. This facility will also offer amnesty bins that will allow participant's to store their personal items while using the space.

The team at this facility will also offer hot and cold beverages, healthy snacks, and baked goods, along with hygiene services during overnight hours, amnesty bins for clients to store personal items and access to professional health care related services.

The team is anticipating having this site operational by early December.

In Out of the Cold - Night Time Drop-In Space

The Winter Response Plan also includes a night time drop-in space for individuals living unsheltered in our community. The First St. Andrew Church will being offering services between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. beginning December 6, 2021. Starting January 1, 2022, this location will be open each night between 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., with the exception of a few nights with extended hours. The staff on hand will be offering snacks and warm meals to individuals, along with breakfast before they depart. This location is hoping to accommodate approximately 55 people.

Learn some more about this space from some of the media coverage in our community:




Winter Shelter Program

Learning from last year's Emergency Winter Response Program, the City's team is working with community partners and social service providers to create two temporary "Mobile Community" spaces.

These sites will include existing buildings, which will be used for community spaces and services, along with on-site overnight residential trailers. Each of the two temporary shelters will accommodate approximately 30 people for stays ranging from several days to up to four months.

Individuals using these facilities will be assigned a lockable room for the duration of their stay and will receive three on-site meals per day. All necessary amenities will be provided at the main buildings of these shelters.

Individuals will be referred to the mobile community spaces through the Coordinated Informed Response team and community agencies, then matched with the appropriate services and supports through the Coordinated Access program.

Parkwood Institute



Fanshawe Golf Course

The first of the two "Mobile Community" spaces will be located at the Parkwood Institute. This location will be focused on an Indigenous-led initiative in response to London's growing need to address Indigenous homelessness, giving participants an opportunity to reconnect with land, culture, and home. This location will provide Indigenous community members with access to community supports and resources.

Indigenous community organizations will lead the delivery of services at this location, along with community partner Atlosha. Thanks to the generosity of the St. Joseph Health Care, this location will help ensure that individuals who have not yet entered a clinical program for mental and /or physical health or a safe supply regiment will have wrap around support, helping to transition from street to shelter. The Parkwood Institute location will be able to support 30 individuals who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness with high acuity, prioritizing those who identify as Indigenous.

The team is anticipating having this site operational by December 1, 2021.

Learn more by reading the News Release.


The second location for the "Mobile Community" is located at the City of London's Fanshawe Golf Club. This location will service individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness with moderate-to-high acuity already engaging with City supports and want to work towards housing solutions. Impact London is the agency proposed to operate this site.

The location will offer a combination of on-site and mobile services. This "Mobile Community" will help individuals who historically self-sustain due to not being successful in traditional shelter systems for various reasons, like having a partner, a pet or previous trauma.

The location was chosen to help maximize under utilized City of London corporate assets, while meeting the infrastructure needs of the temporary shelter. The mobile trailers will be located on the parking lots and will not use any green space. This location will be able to accommodate 30 individuals. Community organizations will facilitate transportation to and from this location to necessary services and appointments.

Building and security personnel will be at each location.

The team is anticipating having this site operational by December 1, 2021.

Learn more by reading the following articles:

CTV News Article

CBC Article





The City of London's Winter Response Plan

The City of London's winter response plan aims to ensure all Londoners living unsheltered this winter have a warm place to lay their head and have access to resources and programs to help support their journey towards housing stability. This year's plan involves collaboration with many community partners and organizations to create new community spaces for the winter months and allow for tailored services to meet the various needs of Londoners experiencing homelessness.

The year's winter response plan will use a multi-pronged approach that will help deliver services and supports to individuals living unsheltered, including those suffering from trauma, addiction, and mental health. This approach will include:

  • Drop-in Spaces that offer both day and night stays ranging from zero to eight hours;
  • Mobile Community Winter Shelter for stays up to four months.

This year's plan also reflects the lessons learned from last year's emergency winter response program. This year's plan will allow a more decentralization of services and enhanced housing-focused and Indigenous service delivery model. Take a read about each location below.



In Out of the Cold - Day Drop-In Space

Everyone needs a space to come in out of the cold, meet up with friends and share their day, including individuals living unsheltered. The City's winter response plan will have once centrally located daytime "Coffee House" style day drop-in space at the YMCA central location.

This location will be focused on ensuring individuals have a safe space to get warm, have an opportunity to rest and receive a hot meal. This location will accommodate approximately 70 people at a time during daytime hours. Agency staff will be on-site for the duration of open hours to service as building attendants for any facility needs and requirements. This facility will also offer amnesty bins that will allow participant's to store their personal items while using the space.

The team at this facility will also offer hot and cold beverages, healthy snacks, and baked goods, along with hygiene services during overnight hours, amnesty bins for clients to store personal items and access to professional health care related services.

The team is anticipating having this site operational by early December.

In Out of the Cold - Night Time Drop-In Space

The Winter Response Plan also includes a night time drop-in space for individuals living unsheltered in our community. The First St. Andrew Church will being offering services between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. beginning December 6, 2021. Starting January 1, 2022, this location will be open each night between 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., with the exception of a few nights with extended hours. The staff on hand will be offering snacks and warm meals to individuals, along with breakfast before they depart. This location is hoping to accommodate approximately 55 people.

Learn some more about this space from some of the media coverage in our community:




Winter Shelter Program

Learning from last year's Emergency Winter Response Program, the City's team is working with community partners and social service providers to create two temporary "Mobile Community" spaces.

These sites will include existing buildings, which will be used for community spaces and services, along with on-site overnight residential trailers. Each of the two temporary shelters will accommodate approximately 30 people for stays ranging from several days to up to four months.

Individuals using these facilities will be assigned a lockable room for the duration of their stay and will receive three on-site meals per day. All necessary amenities will be provided at the main buildings of these shelters.

Individuals will be referred to the mobile community spaces through the Coordinated Informed Response team and community agencies, then matched with the appropriate services and supports through the Coordinated Access program.

Parkwood Institute



Fanshawe Golf Course

The first of the two "Mobile Community" spaces will be located at the Parkwood Institute. This location will be focused on an Indigenous-led initiative in response to London's growing need to address Indigenous homelessness, giving participants an opportunity to reconnect with land, culture, and home. This location will provide Indigenous community members with access to community supports and resources.

Indigenous community organizations will lead the delivery of services at this location, along with community partner Atlosha. Thanks to the generosity of the St. Joseph Health Care, this location will help ensure that individuals who have not yet entered a clinical program for mental and /or physical health or a safe supply regiment will have wrap around support, helping to transition from street to shelter. The Parkwood Institute location will be able to support 30 individuals who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness with high acuity, prioritizing those who identify as Indigenous.

The team is anticipating having this site operational by December 1, 2021.

Learn more by reading the News Release.


The second location for the "Mobile Community" is located at the City of London's Fanshawe Golf Club. This location will service individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness with moderate-to-high acuity already engaging with City supports and want to work towards housing solutions. Impact London is the agency proposed to operate this site.

The location will offer a combination of on-site and mobile services. This "Mobile Community" will help individuals who historically self-sustain due to not being successful in traditional shelter systems for various reasons, like having a partner, a pet or previous trauma.

The location was chosen to help maximize under utilized City of London corporate assets, while meeting the infrastructure needs of the temporary shelter. The mobile trailers will be located on the parking lots and will not use any green space. This location will be able to accommodate 30 individuals. Community organizations will facilitate transportation to and from this location to necessary services and appointments.

Building and security personnel will be at each location.

The team is anticipating having this site operational by December 1, 2021.

Learn more by reading the following articles:

CTV News Article

CBC Article





Community Questions

With any City program or plan there is bound to be many questions around the creation and implementation of that plan. The Winter Response Program is no exception. Our team is working closely with community agencies and support services to provide the best care for our most vulnerable community members.  We welcome your questions about this program and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.


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    I encounter the homeless often as a nightime security guard: is there a number I can call after-hours if I come across someone in need of shelter?

    Jeffrey asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for reaching out.

    You can always reach out to London Cares at  (519) 667-2273.  Their outreach team is always available.  

    Thank you 

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    How can a person volunteer or donate goods to this worthy cause?

    Weisdorf Barbara asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for reaching out.

    There are many ways to help our fellow Londoners who are living unsheltered in our community. The best way to see the impact of your donation, whether it be your time, a donation of clothes, money or food, is to support and work with one of the many community agencies providing the programs and services in our city. You can find a listing of these agencies by visiting: https://london.ca/living-london/community-services/homeless-prevention-housing/community-supports . Thank you again, for your concern and you kindness.

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    Where will The Drop In Spaces be located for Overnight Rest?

    Wilfred asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for reaching out. 

    The First St. Andrew Church will being offering services between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. beginning December 6, 2021. Starting January 1, 2022, this location will be open each night between 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., with the exception of a few nights with extended hours. The staff on hand will be offering snacks and warm meals to individuals, along with breakfast before they depart. This location is hoping to accommodate approximately 55 people.

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    Could you please post or email me a copy of the Nov.9 presentation deck? Thanks

    marlene asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for reaching out. We have posted the recording of the November 9 community information session on the Get Involved site.

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    I manage a business almost directly across the street from the planned location on River Rd. Why were we not given any direct notice of this plan ahead of time? The city had no problem notifying us of the installation of the protective anodes for the water system in our area, however establishing a homeless encampment seemed to not be worth notifying the neighbours? I am in total agreement that the services are desperately needed, but the optics of the way it has been handled appears shady. To top it off we finally receive a notice about a community information session about 3 hours before it is scheduled to start. We are regularly dealing with people cutting the fence and breaking in to steal items from our yard already. I understand you will have on-site security, however that does not do much for the neighbourhood. Wil there be an increased police presence in our area?

    Eric Parkinson asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for reaching out and for your question. The River Road Golf Course location was chosen to be the Indigenous-led winter response site due to the amount of space and available amenities onsite. The process of choosing a location is not one that is done without extensive planning. Our team, along with the community agencies operating the space, will provide transportation options to meet all the needs of the individuals using the location. Our goal is to provide the right services and supports, along with community workshops and recreation programming that will allow individuals to remain onsite.

    Determining the appropriate winter response for our city is an extensive process. Along with consultation with and feedback and input from our city’s existing homeless service sector including the London Homeless Prevention Network, shelter operators and the London Homeless Coalition, the team created a plan to address the needs of our most vulnerable Londoners.  This plan was then brought to the Community and Protective Services Committee, where residents were able to ask questions and voice their concerns.  This plan has not yet been approved by Council (scheduled to go to Council on November 16.) Once approved, the team will move forward with providing winter shelter for those Londoners living unsheltered in our community.  Community members looking for more information on the winter response plan can visit our Get Involved site. Residents can also submit their questions to our team at housingstability@london.ca . And as always, you reach out to you ward councillor with any concerns you may have. 

    Each winter response plan location will have on-site security. Residents should contact London Police Services for any criminal activity.

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    Regarding the location of the River Road Golf course being used as a center for homeless people . Most homeless do not have a car for transportation . They are pedestrians . Pedestrians walk . Why would they be put at a location with no public transportation . No side walks . No street lights .Narrow road with no drainage (when it rains or snows only the center of the road is usable for driving or walking) This road is used by heavy trucks all the time . There is a cement plant-steel recycle yard -auto recycle yards all on a road that was never designed for traffic like this . Two trucks cannot pass each other without one pulling to the side . Now you are putting pedestrians and drivers in a unsafe position .I do not know who would think this is a good location if they would just drive down the road and look at it objectively . You will be forcing pedestrians and vehicles into a situation that is unsafe and dangerous

    Raymond Young asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment. When choosing the River Road Golf Course as a winter response location, which would be the Indigenous-led response, the team was looking at the amount of space and amenities the location provided for individuals to reconnect with their community, culture and land. Transportation will also be provided according to individuals specific needs. The goal of the winter response plan is to provide wrap around services and supports on location.

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    Will there be 24 hour supervision at these Golf course locations?

    Cheryl Watson asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for reaching out and your question.  

    All the winter response plan locations – stabilization space, drop-in spaces and golf course locations – will have 24 hour security to ensure the safety of both the participants and the staff of these locations.

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    Where exactly will the Drop In spaces be located???

    Thomas asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for reaching out and for your question.

    The drop-in day space will be located at the central branch of the YMCA at 382 Waterloo street.

Page last updated: 17 Jan 2022, 08:09 AM