Winter Emergency Response

Daytime Warming Centres ACTIVE
Late Night Café ACTIVE

What is Winter Emergency Response?

The Winter Emergency Response (WER) is a temporary, emergency cold weather response intended to mitigate risk for unsheltered people who are vulnerable to serious, critical, or potentially fatal health impacts as a result of cold weather exposure. It runs annually from November 1 to March 31 and is a collaboration between several Tri Region partner organizations, including the City of Spruce Grove.

The response includes two components which may be activated (independently or together) when the temperature is expected to reach -20 C (including wind chill) for a sustained period of at least 4-6 hours:

  • Daytime warming centres - open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at rotating locations within Spruce Grove and Stony Plain
  • Late Night Café - open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., seven days per week at Congregational Christian Fellowship Church (445 King Street, Spruce Grove)

Both programs provide a warm, safe place to rest, hot meals, cold weather supplies, and access to further supports or referrals if needed.​

Questions?

For general inquiries, email csd@sprucegrove.org or phone: 780-962-7618  (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays). To contact the WER coordinator, email werc@sprucegrove.church or call 780-306-1699

Frequently asked questions

Unsheltered people and families in our community benefit from these supports during periods of extreme cold weather. It is important to work collaboratively to support unsheltered residents living in our community. Winter Emergency Response is a community response to a community need.

Refer to the chart at the top of this page. It displays the components that are currently active. If both components display INACTIVE, the Winter Emergency Response is not active. In addition, alerts are displayed on five electronic text reader boards located at City Hall and throughout the community when the response is active.

If the person is in immediate distress, or in case of emergency, call 9-1-1. To connect with the Community Outreach Team regarding an individual within Spruce Grove in need of assistance, call 780-962-7583 or email communityoutreach@sprucegrove.org.

Weather data from previous years was reviewed using Environment Canada’s Wind Chill Index to determine the average number of days each year that were below -30, -25, and -20 C (including wind chill). This data assisted in determining the cold weather threshold that the community has capacity to support.

Yes, however, individuals who attend the Late Night Café and/or warming centres are not required to seek additional supports. If an individual requests additional supports, the staff and volunteers will be able to connect them with the appropriate resources. Additionally, individuals at both the Late Night Café and warming centres have access to food, areas to rest, and cold weather supplies.

Yes, daytime warming centres are located in the City of Spruce Grove and the Town of Stony Plain. Individuals residing within the Tri-Municipal region can access both Winter Emergency Response programs (Late Night Café, and daytime warming spaces). 

The WER Advisory Committee is comprised of various community partners who have a broad range of perspectives, experiences, and expertise regarding supporting individuals living without shelter. It is responsible for advising the Spruce Grove Community Church on strategic decision-making for the Late Night Café and Daytime Warm-up Spaces in the Tri-Municipal Region.

For the 2023/2024 Season, these community partners include:

  • Spruce Grove Community Church
  • Cyrus Centre
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Trans-Alta Tri-Leisure Centre
  • Congregational Christian Fellowship Church
  • Spruce Grove Public Library
  • City of Spruce Grove
  • Town of Stony Plain

The Late Night Café is operated by Spruce Grove Community Church and supported by regional churches, community groups and volunteers. The warming centre program is overseen by Spruce Grove Community Church, operated by the Cyrus Centre, and supported by regional churches, community groups, and volunteers. Locations have been kindly donated by regional partners and selected after careful consideration of functionality, access, and availability.

Yes, the response will be active anytime the weather threshold is met between November 1 and March 31.

The Winter Emergency Response is not available on a 24/7 basis. When the cold weather threshold is anticipated, the Late Night Café is open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. seven days per week, and the Daytime Warming Centres are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Please email werc@sprucegrove.church or phone 780-306-1699 to reach the Winter Emergency Response Coordinator. 

The Winter Emergency Response (WER) was first developed for the 2019-2020 winter season. A committee consisting of municipal and community organizations and groups was assembled with the goal of having a collaborative plan in place by November 2020. The committee was comprised of:

  • City of Spruce Grove – Protective Services & Community Social Development
  • RCMP
  • Engage Church
  • Spruce Grove Community Church
  • Congregational Christian Fellowship Church
  • Tri-Region Pay Forward Kindness Society
  • TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre
  • Rotary Club of Spruce Grove
  • Spruce Grove Public Library