County of Huron Reopens Emergency Shelter for Cold Weather Season

November 3, 2021

Huron County, Ontario – The County of Huron continues to address the complexities associated with homelessness, poverty and housing instability in Huron County, and is implementing both immediate and long-term solutions.

Opening November 15th, the County of Huron’s Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home emergency shelter offers wrap-around supports for homeless individuals in Huron County, including staff specially trained in trauma informed care, substance use, and mental health services. The emergency shelter will be located at Lakeshore United Church in Goderich and will be able to accommodate up to 15 individuals per evening, with meals provided, for the cold weather season.

Since the opening of the shelter in 2020, 16 individuals have been successfully, permanently homed with assistance from the Heart to Home Stability Team.  This team will continue their efforts in the 2021/22 season.

“A variety of life circumstances can bring someone to be in crisis, without a place to call home. When this happens, people need support and they need shelter,” says Warden Glen McNeil.

Through a partnership with the County of Huron, Choices for Change and CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services, Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home is staffed with trained professionals and aims to provide wrap-around supports and services, with a goal of transitioning guests into permanent housing solutions.

“CMHA Thames Valley Addiction & Mental Health Services is pleased to continue its partnership with Huron County and Choices for Change for the next season of the Out of the Cold shelter.  We continue to do this important work of providing safety and supports during the cold weather season to some of the most vulnerable individuals in our area,” says Lori Cribley Clark, Regional Manager of Rural Services Exeter and Goderich Sites, CMHA Thames Valley Addiction & Mental Health Services. “As a team, we work together to provide them a warm space and a meal while we work at building rapport and resources in hopes that their challenges may become fewer and successful housing a viable option for them in the future.”

“Choices for Change is pleased to work with our partners and the community to ensure the safety of the homeless population over the winter months,” says Catherine Hardman, Executive Director, Choices for Change: Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Counselling Centre. “This is a temporary solution to a long term and complex problem.  It’s the responsibility of all citizens of a community to work towards permanent housing solutions to support our most vulnerable population.”

The County of Huron and its partner agencies are dedicated to taking both immediate and long-term actions to improve the quality of life for all residents of Huron County. Other initiatives underway include:

  • Agency Coordination: A Homelessness Task Force developed in 2020 to address concerns for individuals experiencing homelessness in Huron’s community.
  • Further Development of Wrap-Around Supports: Staff continue to provide wrap around supports in coordinated action with local agencies and volunteers.
  • Exploring Supportive Housing: County of Huron staff are working to explore supportive housing requirements that align with the County’s Long-Term Affordable Housing and Homelessness Plan.
  • Homeless Enumeration Study: Occurring this fall, the study will provide an opportunity to gain a current snapshot of homelessness in the community.

The County extends its thanks to Lakeshore United Church, and to every other agency, community group, and volunteer, who has and continues to contribute time and resources for Huron’s Out of the Cold program and showing compassion to taking care of the community’s most vulnerable persons.

For more information on Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home, including emergency shelter contacts, please visit

To learn more about homelessness in Huron, visit:

The County of Huron asks the community to continue respecting all public health guidelines, including performing hand hygiene, wearing masks and staying home if ill. Stay informed on the COVID-19 situation in Huron County by visiting the Huron-Perth Public Health website.


For more information contact:

Glen McNeil, Warden
519.524.8394 (ext 3224)