Out of the Cold Community Association provides low barrier, people-centred support rooted in anti-oppressive & harm reduction practices.

We began our work in 2007. The need for a low barrier shelter supporting individuals in the Halifax area rose when Pendelton Place closed. Pendleton Place was a community shelter open to all genders. Their closure devastated the community and left those who couldn’t access other shelters in the city unsupported. Members of the community came together to respond to this need and formed Out of the Cold. 

We started as a winter shelter, with precarious funding forcing us to change locations repeatedly over the years. When COVID-19 hit in 2019, we began a constant state of change. Our location on Barrington Street was sold for development, and we moved our shelter into a hotel. The situation evolved again soon after, when we moved into the Gray Arena in Dartmouth. 

We always believed Out of the Cold should exist to fill gaps in our community. During COVID-19, we realized how untenable the housing crisis truly was. It was clear that in our current system, there is no space for unhoused folks in the city.

We wanted to continue supporting residents from the shelter by providing them with dignified, safe, permanent housing, which we know would otherwise be nearly impossible to access. Finally, in 2022, we moved our services to housing units and have been able to offer permanent supported housing for our residents. 

We have an exceptional staff of compassionate and skilled folks who are equipped to provide a wide range of outreach and support to the people using our services. In 2020, our staff announced their successful unionization with SEIU (Service Employees’ International Union) Local 2. You can read more about the unionization here. We have a small but dedicated group of volunteers helping to organize the shelter and ensure our community has access to our supports and resources.

We support individuals (16+) and couples of all genders who are unhoused or precariously housed and experience a variety of barriers to housing.

Barriers to housing may include
◦ poverty
◦ criminalization
◦ racism
◦ transphobia
◦ homophobia
◦ food insecurity
◦ inadequate access to physical & mental health supports
◦ challenges & stigma associated with alcohol and substance use
◦ varying levels of ability and life skills

Get to Know our Team

Read about our staff’s successful unionization

Headshot of Michelle Malette.
Michelle Malette (she/they)

Executive Director

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Sara Landry

Program Manager (Dartmouth)

An image of OTC staff member, Kat.

Kat Stein

Program Manager (Halifax)

Gus Richardson (they/them)

Harm Reduction & Outreach Coordinator 

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Eilish MacIntyre

Household Coordinator (Dartmouth) 

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Libby Maclean

Household Coordinator

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Campbell McClintock

Street Outreach Worker

Are you interested in working with Out of the Cold and your community?

Check out our open positions and send your resume to shelter@outofthecold-hfx.ca