Important information for unhoused people

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.

Organization Address Contact Days/Times Notes
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