What is
Hamilton Out of the Cold

Hamilton Out of the Cold is a not-for-profit, non-denominational program that provides meals for those in need in our community from November to March.

Our Mission is to provide hot nutritious meals – served with dignity and compassion.

Prior to the pandemic, we served dinner six days a week and breakfast two mornings a week from 10 locations across the city. Guests are welcomed into our locations for a hot meal and warm companionship. Our guests are men, women and children in our community who are struggling with hardship. We serve all who arrive – no questions asked. Due to the pandemic, we were not able to welcome our guests inside for a meal, so instead our volunteers lovingly prepared and handed out warm nourishing meals to go.

Hamilton Out of the Cold purchases fresh ingredients that our talented volunteer cooks turn into nutritious meals for our guests. Volunteers are key to the success of our program, as it is volunteers who help set-up the sites, prepare the food and serve the meals.

Hamilton Out of the Cold is led by a Volunteer Board of Directors. Two part-time seasonal staff manage the day-to-day operations.

Hamilton Out of the Cold Coalition is a registered charity (Registration Number: 864263488-RR0001).

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.