A “mini-cabin village” for the homeless opens its doors in December in Hamilton
Hamilton Coalition for Small Shelters via Facebook
the “Little Cabin Village” which Hamilton-backed aims to get established by December, thanks to donations from individuals, foundations, and local businesses like Home Depot and Ikea. However, a member of the nonprofit Will Work says accessible bathroom and shower facilities for those with mobility challenges would be costly.
The up to 25 small shelters project is part of Camp Hamilton’s response, which is seen as a “temporary solution” to the homeless problem.
“The Small Shelters initiative is one tool to help up to 25 individuals find stability, safety and warmth in a supportive community.” Tom Cooper, Treasurer of Grassroots Nonprofits The Hamilton Alliance for Small Shelters (HATS) w Director of the Hamilton Poverty Reduction Roundtable, in an email to inthehammer.com.
HATS is leading the two-year small shelters pilot project, which will cost the city nothing because it will be funded through donations and grants.
“We’ve been fortunate to have great community support for this initiative,” said Cooper, noting that Home Depot provides some of the cabins and Ikea furnishes the interiors.
For this project, the city has designated the Strachan Avenue linear park parking area as the preferred location. The small homes will be in security, support and services, according to a report approved by the council.
HATS is involved, Cooper said With community organizations to provide support related to mental health and addiction to help people “recover and then prepare for affordable, supportive housing options as soon as they become available.”
Supportive housing provides assistance to vulnerable people who need assistance with daily living or maintaining their housing, from help keeping their places clean to checking in on people several times a week to determine their needs, he said.
With 1,600 people facing homelessness in Hamilton, I concede it’s not a solution.
“It’s really a temporary fix until solutions become available,” Cooper said. “The real solution is supportive and affordable housing.”
Potential residents for the site will be selected based on the city’s “by name list”, a list that prioritizes people in desperate need of housing.
With many opposing camps near their homes, he understands how the issue has divided the population.
“The issue of camps has been very polarizing in Hamilton, and while almost everyone recognizes the right to housing, the question of where to live for unhoused people in the meantime creates a lot of division,” Cooper said.
The city decided not to set up “recognized camps” for the time being. Under the newly approved camp protocol, small groups of tents can stay together as long as they are 100 meters from playgrounds, schools and nurseries and 10 meters from private property.
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