Out of the Cold Community Association runs a low-barrier supported housing community in Halifax.
Our support is human-centered and grounded in harm reduction because every one of us has the right to safe, healthy and affordable housing.
We have improved our capacity to offer long-term housing solutions!
Out of the Cold is no longer a seasonal shelter; we now provide permanent dignified housing for individuals (16+) of all genders who experience a variety of barriers to housing.
These barriers may include poverty, criminalization, racism, transphobia, homophobia, food insecurity, inadequate access to physical & mental health supports, challenges & stigma associated with alcohol and substance use, and varying levels of ability and life skills.
We provide permanent homes with additional supports in Halifax – Kjipuktuk.
Private homes inside a community with additional networks of support on site. Currently, every home is occupied. We may be accepting new intakes in the future if more homes are available.
Our staff is experienced in connecting unhoused or precariously housed folks to housing resources. You do not need to be a resident of Out of the Cold to access resources. We do not have an employment counselor on staff.
We offer free showers out of our location at 7 Church Street in Dartmouth every Tuesday 12pm-3pm and Thursday 12pm-3pm. We have towels, personal care items and we do not have a time limit for showers.
Our services are grounded in harm reduction.
Harm reduction is the non-judgemental provision of resources and support to people who use substances or alcohol. By practicing harm reduction at our shelter, we can minimize negative consequences associated with substance and alcohol use and offer a stigma-free environment.
While we do this work in support of our unhoused neighbours, it’s essential that we are mindful that we seek to provide shelter and address the housing crisis in Mi’kma’ki, the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. While many of our neighbours are unhoused or struggling with precarious housing, we acknowledge the disproportionate barriers that ongoing colonization efforts and white supremacy create and maintain in the search for safe, secure, affordable housing for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).
We thank Jesse Thistle for sharing these words as we acknowledge that “unlike the common colonialist definition of homelessness, Indigenous homelessness is not defined as lacking a structure of habitation; rather, it is more fully described and understood through a composite lens of Indigenous worldviews. These include: individuals, families and communities isolated from their relationships to land, water, place, family, kin, each other, animals, cultures, languages and identities. Importantly, Indigenous people experiencing these kinds of homelessness cannot culturally, spiritually, emotionally or physically reconnect with their Indigeneity or lost relationships” (Jesse Thistle / Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness, 2012).
Out of the Cold Community Association provides low barrier, people-centred support rooted in anti-oppressive and harm reduction practice. We prioritize the support of our neighbours who face high barriers in relation to housing and other areas of their daily life. We acknowledge our participation in systems that we engage with and exist within that our neighbours from the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities have been and continue to be displaced, unhoused and targeted for criminalization by and through and commit to changing the way we do this work. We will work to hold ourselves, each other, our organization and other organizations we partner with accountable for our role in maintaining these systems and for the dismantling of these systems. We will actively seek out and engage in learning in connection with the ongoing revision and review of policies and practise. We will use our privilege and position in the community to actively advocate against these systems and for the rights of unhoused Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Each of us, will be intentional around working to nurture a place to live and work, that is a safer space for Black, Indigenous & People of Colour. We believe that shelters are a stop-gap measure to address homelessness and that every one of us has the right to safe, healthy, and affordable housing.
Out of the Cold Community Association – March 2021
Are you interested in helping out?
You can aid our community by donating, volunteering to make meals, or by joining our staff. Your support makes a difference.
Donations of any kind are appreciated to continue offering our services. Monetary donations can be sent via EMT to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also accept cheque donations sent to:
PO Box 36180
5675 Spring Garden Road
Halifax Nova Scotia B3J 3S9
We are often looking for resource donations, such as supplies and clothing. Visit our donations page to see what we are currently accepting.
Note: Please call before you plan to drop off donations and make sure you check in at the Hive (our office) upon entry: 902-830-4821.
Work With Us
We are looking for folks interested in Frontline Resident Support Workers for Casual positions at our shelter. Please view our open positions and get in touch if you’re interested in applying.
COVID-19 Update – February 2022
To support the health and safety of all people living and working in our community, we began implementing preventative health protocols and policies in March 2020. As of March 1st, 2022, OTC Community Association has made the decision to prioritize community care and will continue to adhere to our masking protocols and other COVID-19 preventative measures.
- Staff, volunteers and visitors are required to self-screen before each shift. Folks who are sick are encouraged to stay home. All full-time and permanent part-time staff are entitled to paid sick days, as per our collective agreement.
- Residents are screened with the support of staff, as needed, following NSHA’s current COVID screening guidelines.
- NSHA continues to support OTC with weekly, voluntary, onsite COVID testing.
- Rapid self-tests and support to take them are available to residents on-site, on-demand, 24/7.
- All staff are encouraged to self-test while at work, twice per week.
- All residents must wear masks at all times while accessing the communal spaces, except when actively eating/drinking. Residents are not required to wear masks while in their own rooms or homes unless a staff person is required to support them in that space for an extended period of time.
- Staff, volunteers and visitors are required to wear masks at all times while on-site or while working off-site in the community, unless actively eating/drinking.
We’re here for you. While we are not currently able to offer in-person support to folks living off-site, you can call the Support Line for support from our team at any time.
Access to our supported housing community is limited at the moment, please call ahead if you are planning to donate supplies. We have very limited storage space.
7 Church St. Dartmouth, NS
Search 12 Alderney Drive on Google Maps for an accurate location pin.
5580 Cogswell St. Halifax, NS
PO Box 36180
5675 Spring Garden Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia