What is HOOTC?
Our mission is to “Eliminate Hunger in Our Community” by providing hot, nutritious meals for those in need. Served with dignity and compassion.
Hamilton Out of the Cold (HOOTC) is a not-for-profit, non-denominational program serving meals six days a week from 10 locations throughout November to March.
Last season we served 18,353 dinners and, in partnership with Wesley Centre, 9,492 breakfasts.
Out of the Cold is a registered charity. Board members are drawn from the community. Two half-time staff member manage a lean budget.
How do we do it?
HOOTC is sustained by donations of food from local businesses and food drives.
We rely upon individuals, charitable groups, faith communities, local business and grants to provide money to fulfill our mandate
Our volunteers include adults, families with grown children, University students and high school seniors.
How did Out of the Cold begin?
Out of the Cold Hamilton was established in December 1997 at James St. Baptist Church by two retired teachers, Gloria Colizza and Sister Carole Anne Guay. It was modeled after Toronto’s Out of the Cold program.
In Toronto, the death of a homeless man, George, galvanized students and teachers of St. Michael’s High School to unite and take action. Father John Murphy and Rev. Canon John Erb secured food and volunteers and, in January 1987, a small storefront on St. Claire Avenue became the first location for Out of the Cold.
Out of the Cold locations across Canada are not affiliated, each program runs independently.
Who are our dinner guests?
Men, women and children of our community who are struggling with hardship come to Hamilton Out of the Cold for hot meals and warm companionship. We serve who arrives, no questions asked.
Our guests include men, women and children of our community who are struggling with hardship come to Hamilton Out of the Cold for hot, nutritious meals and warm companionship. Our guests include: the working poor, the unemployed, those living with mental and physical health issues, those struggling with loneliness and homelessness.”