Cathedral Temporary Shelter
The former Cathedral Boys School located at 378 Main Street East has been operating as a temporary emergency shelter since July 2020 to accommodate additional demand for emergency shelter space required through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2020, City Council approved a variety of short-term interventions to transform the emergency shelter system and increase shelter capacity through the Covid 19 pandemic. To address local challenges in access to emergency shelter space for cis women, transgender, and non-binary community members, these interventions included the transition and funding of a demographic specific emergency shelter (accommodating up to 100 beds) on a temporary basis at the former Cathedral Boys School until June 30, 2022. These interventions built on previously approved actions to support COVID-19 emergency supports, through a long-term transition to a more responsive, resilient, sustainable and housing-focused homeless-serving system.
Due to ongoing capacity issues and demand within the emergency shelter system, the Cathedral Temporary Shelter funding was extended to March 31, 2023. This extension was approved by City Council on Aug 12th, 2022 (report (HSC20020(f)). The Cathedral Temporary Shelter is subject to this funding to help meet the ongoing emergency shelter needs being experienced by some of our most vulnerable houseless individuals.
August 2022 Community Update
The City is working with our partner Good Shepard Centres Hamilton to create system level solutions to capacity challenges within the homelessness system which will support the decommissioning of the temporary shelter located at 378 Main Street. This system capacity solution is connected to the opening of a new affordable housing site located at 35 Arkledun Ave and will successfully house 73 individuals At the August 12th City Council meeting staff report (HSC22047) was approved with further funding supports for the 35 Arkledun Ave project. These approved supports will contribute to the successful tenancies of the clients served by this new affordable housing development.
On August 12. 2022, the Hamilton City Council approved a Staff report recommending additional funding to support the extended operation of the Cathedral Temporary Shelter to March 31, 2023. This extension is intended to support the transition time required until the 35 Arkledun Ave project is able to achieve occupancy. Once that project receives occupancy it is expected that there will be a transition back to pre-COVID shelter capacity limits across the system. This transition will allow for the decommissioning of the temporary shelter location. The City has no intentions of funding a permanent shelter at 378 Main St. East.
During the transition across the homelessness serving system, Good Shepherd Centre Hamilton will continue to operate the location as a gender-specific emergency shelter for women, trans-gender and non-binary community members on a temporary basis. There are no plans to transition the Cathedral site into permanent shelter location.
March 2023 Community Update
Due to construction delays and labour and supply shortages, occupancy at 35 Arkledun Avenue affordable housing site has been delayed until late April. To ensure the most successful housing outcomes for individuals and to ensure there are no negative shelter discharges, a City staff report (HSC23019) will be going to the Emergency and Community Services Committee on March 23, 2023, recommending the temporary Cathedral shelter remain open until no later than May 31, 2023.
With shelter decommissioning plans already underway and as residents prepare to move over to the Arkeldun Avenue site or into other housing placements, City staff in collaboration with Good Shepherd have now ceased admissions at the temporary Cathedral shelter. As a result, there will continue to be fewer individuals using this temporary shelter over the next two months.
There are no plans to transition the Cathedral site into a permanent shelter location.
If you have any questions related to the potential future use of Cathedral High School please contact Katherine Kalinowski, Chief Operating Officer, Good Shepherd Centres, Hamilton at [email protected].
May 2023 Community Update
With the successful opening of the 35 Arkledun Avenue affordable housing site in May 2023, the temporary Cathedral emergency shelter site was formally decommissioned in mid-May 2023. This site is no longer operating as an emergency shelter and no residents remain on site.
- July 2020 - The temporary emergency shelter at the former Cathedral boys school began operation as part of system level COVID-19 response.
- February 4, 2021 - the Emergency and Community Services Committee approved Report HSC20020(b) which authorized an additional grant to a maximum amount of $673,166 to the Good Shepherd Centre Hamilton to continue to operate 378 Main Street East (the former Cathedral Boys School) as a temporary shelter for men.
- December 6, 2021 - City of Hamilton hosted a public forum on the future of the temporary Cathedral Shelter. The focus of this meeting was to update the community on the Council report recommending a transition of the temporary shelter from the men’s serving system to the women’s serving system
- December 9, 2021 - the City’s Emergency & Community Services Committee approved a staff report that proposes a variety of short term interventions to transform the shelter system and increase shelter capacity through the winter. This report builds on previously approved actions to support COVID-19 emergency supports, through a long-term transition to a more responsive, resilient, sustainable and housing-focused homeless-serving system. (Agenda - Emergency & Community Services Committee Agenda item 8.2)
- March 22, 2022 - Housing Service staff held a second engagement session regarding the transition of services for the Cathedral shelter.
- April 2022 - As part of the City’s 2022 budget process, a funding extension for the emergency shelter spaces, including the temporary shelter at the former Cathedral Boys School was approved to December 31, 2022.
- August 12, 2022 - Hamilton City Council approved a staff report that recommends that funding of the temporary Cathedral Shelter be extended until March 31, 2023. This extension is intended to support the temporary shelter system capacity expansion required until the housing project at 35 Arkledun is ready for occupancy. (Agenda – Emergency & Community Services Committee Item 10.2 and 10.3)
- March 21, 2023 – Housing Services staff will participate in a Ward 2 Community session providing an update on the Cathedral temporary shelter operations.
- March 23, 2023 – Due to construction delays and labour and supply shortage, occupancy at 35 Arkledun has been delayed until late April 2023. As a result, the City’s Emergency & Community Services Committee will receive staff report HSC23019 recommending an extension to the Cathedral temporary shelter location to no later than May 31, 2023. (Agenda - Emergency & Community Services Committee Item 10.2)
- May 15, 2023 – The temporary emergency shelter operated at the former Cathedral boys school was formally decommissioned. No shelter residents remain on site and the location is no longer operated as an emergency shelter.