Many drop in programs, community meal programs, food banks, and emergency shelters are still operational. Some have reduced hours or have changed the way they deliver their services.
Couch-Surfing During COVID-19
Try to reduce the amount of places you are staying, if possible. Try to arrange for a more prolonged stay with a friend or family member. If this is not possible, be sure to wash your hands before you enter the space and after you leave it.
Sleeping Outside and Camping
Try to access public hand washing stations where they are available. For example, Jackson Square restrooms are still open and there is also hand sanitizer in there. Avoid touching your face. Tying a scarf around your nose and mouth can help with this. Try your best to practise social distancing and reach out to Shelter Health or your doctor if you or any of your friends are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Staying at a Shelter
It will be very difficult to practise social distancing while staying in a shelter environment. Try your best to wash your hands frequently and to avoid getting too close to other residents, especially if they are symptomatic. Try to get access to hand sanitizer and use this throughout the day. If you have a pre-existing condition that makes you vulnerable to infection, let workers know.
Accessing the City’s COVID-19 Self-Isolation Sites
The City of Hamilton is converting two recreational centres into Self Isolation Sites for people experiencing homelessness who need to self isolate because of COVID-19.
You will need a referral from a doctor or a shelter official to access these sites.
Get in touch with Shelter Health or your doctor to arrange for testing and for further advice. Try your best to limit how many people you come in contact with while you are awaiting or seeking assistance.
Places to Use Bathrooms
With most libraries, recreation centres, and Tim Horton’s closed, it’s hard for homeless people to find a place to use the bathroom during the day. Here are some places that remain open.
|Good Shepherd: Venture Centre||155 Cannon St E||905-972-9485||M-F 9:30am-3pm||Bathroom and care packages provided for homeless individuals upon request.|
|Jackson Square||120 King St||905-522-4277||Mon-Fri 8am-8:45pm, Sat-Sun 9am-8:45pm||Only bathrooms open are the ones at the King & Bay entrance (near Nation’s and the fountain).|
|Living Rock||30 Wilson St||905-528-7625||Drop-In times: Mon-Fri 9-10am; Tues-Thur 4-5pm, Tues, Thur & Sat 1-4pm||Building closed so must request to use bathrooms during drop-in hours.|
|Hamilton Urban Core||71 Rebecca St||905-522-3233||Mon & Friday 9-5pm, Tues & Thu 9am-9pm, Wed 12:30-9pm||Bathrooms and showers available|
|Willow’s Place (Drop-in for women only)||196 Wentworth St N||905-528-4211 x1200||7 days/week 9am-8pm||Bathrooms for homeless women only|