Our community is home to 25 folks living in 4 shared homes with private rooms, a programming space and a communal area.
Each home has:
6 private, lockable rooms with a bed, desk, and closet.
2 bathroom with a shower
Free washer and dryer
Our communal area (The Hive) offers:
A food security program including free meals.
A self serve coffee and snack station, including a fridge designated for resident use.
Workstations with computers
Access to a resident only landline. Long distance calls may be accommodate on the OTC Support Line
Free hygiene supplies and menstrual products
Access to staff and resources
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.
How can I or someone I know get a room in your community?
Currently, all homes are occupied. We are not accepting new residents.
How long will the houses be available?
OTC has secured funding to support our current program until April 1, 2024, though we plan to keep offering supported housing beyond that and are working on long term funding. HRM has committed to the site and the buildings being available for five years.
This is permanent supported housing, which means different things to different people. There is no minimum time commitment required or time limit required to take part in the program. Length of stay will vary and will be decided on by residents with the support of staff.
How big are the rooms?
Each private room in the homes are approximately 9’x9’. There are 6 rooms in each house.
Who do you offer supported housing to?
We offer supported housing to 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.
Do you support couples?
We can support couples, though each room is built with one twin bed and each individual is assigned their own room.
Are animals permitted in the houses?
Folks who experience barriers to accessing housing & shelter due to a companion animal have always been a priority for OTC. Animals and their owners will be assessed and accepted on a case by case basis, as space becomes available. Assessments take into consideration the size of the living and common spaces available at our current site (each room is only 9’x9’, which may be small for larger animals), the ability of the animal to take direction from its human and the willingness of the owner to work collaboratively around their animals care.
We are currently looking for an experienced individual who is able to support OTC with companion animal assessments and who has an understanding of the barriers faced by unhoused people
Residents who already live on-site do not currently have the option to adopt a pet to live with them in the space.
Are there communal spaces on site?
Yes, the Hive is a communal area where residents can gather, eat, access free supplies and menstrual products, use a shared fridge, work at computer stations, and find staff available 24/7. Our offices are located inside the Hive.
What amenities do the houses have?
Each house has 2 individual bathrooms with a shower stall and toilet, wifi, cleaning supplies, linens & bedding for each resident and a free washer and dryer.
What additional supports are offered to residents?
Each resident has a case worker on staff to help with life skills and stabilizing resources. There are daytime and evening case workers on site in the community.
Are meals provided?
Yes, all meals are provided by staff and served in the Hive. Though we are in our new units, we still do not have a finished kitchen unit. We are looking for the community to support us with lunches and suppers for our residents.
Yes. There is a minimum of 3 staff on site at all times.
Can I visit the community?
Visits are limited at the moment to those donating. Please call ahead if you plan to bring donations: 902-830-4821.
Do staff check-in on residents inside their rooms?
Staff are not doing regular rounds in residents’ rooms or homes but will visit if a resident requests them to do so or a safety issue requires it. When residents feel supported in living dignified, independent lives, staff are in the homes daily by invitation.
Staff do a weekly check to ensure that individual room keys work so that staff can gain access in case of emergencies and to support residents with cleaning.
What donations are you accepting?
We are always accepting monetary donations to pay for meals and other supplies. Please view our donations page to see what we are currently accepting. We are always looking for folks to cook meals for residents.