What is
Hamilton Out of the Cold

Hamilton Out of the Cold (HOOTC) is a not-for-profit, non-denominational program serving breakfasts and dinners six days a week from 10 locations from November 1 to the end of March.

Our mission is to “Eliminate Hunger in Our Community” by providing hot, nutritious meals for those in need. Served with dignity and compassion.

Fresh food is purchased for each meal and prepared on site on the day. Dinners consist of hot, healthy soup, followed by the main course including salad and dessert of bananas & oranges. The cook has her/his Food Handlers Certificate.

Last season we served 18,096 dinners and, in partnership with Wesley Centre, 8,517 breakfasts.

Hamilton Out of the Cold Program Coalition is a registered charity (Registration Number: 864263488-RR0001). Board members are drawn from the community. Two part-time staff members 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 (retired or still working) – university students and high school students ( ages 16-18 must have parent permission).
Other Out of the Cold locations across Canada are not affiliated and 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 all who arrive – no questions asked.

Sister Carole Anne

HOOTC 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 in 1986, the death of George, a homeless man, brought people together to take action. Students and teachers of St. Michael’s 

High School, Sister Susan Moran, Father John Murphy and Rev. Canon John Erb took the necessary steps to arrange a location, food and volunteers and opened a small storefront on St. Claire Avenue. That was January 15, 1987.

From this humble beginning, Out of the Cold has spread throughout Toronto and many cities across Canada.
Hamilton Out of the Cold started in the hearts of Sister Carole Anne Guay, a Sister of St. Joseph, and her friend Ms. Gloria Colizza.
Both of these women are retired teachers from Hamilton. They saw the need and visited the Out of the Cold Program in Toronto.  They invited others to share their vision and dream of feeding the poor and giving them a place to lay their heads. The program began its first year on December 1, 1997, at James St. Baptist Church.