Out of the Cold Shelter Halifax provides low barrier, people-centred support rooted in anti-oppressive and harm reduction practices.
We believe strongly 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 shelter supports individuals (16+) and couples of all genders who are experiencing homelessness and a variety of barriers to housing.
Possible barriers 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.
What we do
We provide safe spaces for shelter and support in Halifax.
◦ Winter shelter (individuals 16+, couples of all genders, and pets welcome)
◦ Daily meals for anyone
◦ Washrooms and shower access for anyone
◦ Warm clothes and supplies for anyone
◦ Resources for housing solutions
Our services are grounded in harm reduction.
Harm reduction is the non-judgemental provision of resources and support to people who use drugs or alcohol. By practicing harm reduction at our shelter, we can minimize negative consequences associated with drug 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 shelter with donations, by volunteering your time, 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 1G0
We are often looking for resource donations, such as supplies and clothing. Visit our donations page to see what we are currently accepting.
Work With Us
We are looking for folks interested in casual positions at our shelter. Please view our open positions and get in touch if you’re interested in applying.
To ensure the safety of all people staying and working in our shelter, we have implemented new health measures.
◦ Masks must be worn in the shelter and drop-in area.
◦ We ask everyone to use our hand washing station upon entry.
◦ We regularly screen for COVID-19 and potential exposures.
◦ Our main shelter space is closed to visiters and is for residents only.
◦ Our shelter common spaces have been set up to accommodate social distancing protocols.
◦ As of March 1st, we have prioritized a drop in space, public shower and mainfloor washroom that are open to our unhoused and precariously housed neighbours. We follow COVID protocols in order to provide these essential services in as safe a manner as possible.
Thank you to our partners and community of supporters and donors!
We couldn’t do this without you.
Our thanks to our community partners, the Social Justice Committee – Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Halifax Particular Council, for the generous donation of 27 bed cots for our residents.