KITCHENER – Community groups in the region have stepped up to provide a temporary place for the homeless population to stay in light of the arrival of an early winter.

The region wasn't expecting the cold weather to come so quickly, so there aren't any overflow warming centres open yet.

"It would've been ideal to have a solution in place before the weather hit, so it coming early was a challenge," says the region's director of housing services, Ryan Pettipiere.

But The Working  Centre stepped up, making arrangements on short notice to have an overflow space available in Kitchener.

For the past week, people in need have been going to St. Mary's Catholic Church for a warm place to sleep.

"We had 60 people the first night, almost 100 people stayed the second night. Last night, we had just about 120 people," says Father Toby Collins.

More than 150 blankets, pillows and meals were donated to the temporary shelter by community partners.

Collins adds that having a warm place available on short notice wouldn't be possible without the community coming together.

The region says St. Mary's will provide a warming centre until the designated overflow spaces become available.

Warming centres at St. Marks Church in Kitchener and at The Bridges in Cambridge open on November 25.