The Social Services Department, Housing Services Division....

  • The Social Services Department, Housing Services Division initiates the Cold Weather Response Protocol when temperatures are expected to drop below minus 15 degrees Celsius, or if there is an expected wind chill of minus 20 degrees Celsius or lower. The Cold Weather Response Protocol may also be issued if severe winter conditions are expected during the next 24 to 36 hours (blizzard conditions, freezing rain, etc.).
  • The Cold Weather Response Protocol is initiated between November 15 and April 1.
  • When the protocol is initiated, the Region includes social media messaging on its channels, and further promotes the emergency shelters on its website.
  • The Cold Weather Response Protocol helps to ensure that individuals/families experiencing homelessness find an emergency shelter nearby.
  • Durham Regional Police Services refers people without shelter to appropriate resources in the community 
Emergency shelters:

Emergency shelters maximize available bed space and may use mats to increase capacity, in order to ensure people are provided with shelter during periods when the Cold Weather Response Protocol is in effect.

Cornerstone Community Association: single men; single men with dependent children; couples with children in their care
Phone: 905-433-0254 ext. 228

Muslim Welfare Home: single women with/without children
Phone: 905-665-0424

DYHSS (Durham Youth Housing and Support Services): youth 16 to 24 years old
Phone: 905-239-9477

Please note that the Region is not able to guarantee shelter availability. Residents will need to confirm with the individual shelters.


Transportation assistance to acccess a shelter:
Housing outreach/eviction prevention agencies can provide transportation assistance (bus tickets, etc.) to individuals/families experiencing homelessness, so they can access a shelter.


Community Development Council Durham Phone: 905-686-2661
(or toll-free at 1-866-746-3696)


John Howard Society Phone: 905-623-6814


John Howard Society Phone: 905-579-8482


North House Phone: 705-432-8654 or 1-877-406-8723

Warming stations:
Some area municipalities have warming stations/centres during periods of extreme cold. You can contact your local area municipality to see if there are any warming stations/centres in your area.

To learn more about affordable housing options, emergency shelters and Homelessness programs, please visit For questions about homeless supports in Durham Region, please contact Diana Chappell, Program Manager at 905-668-7711 ext. 2484 or email [email protected]

If you require this information in an accessible format, please contact 1-800-372-1102 ext. 2473.