Men’s Shelter Update

Mission Services’ Men’s Shelter has been located in Ward 2, on James St. North at Barton East for over 60 years and we have felt surrounded by supportive neighbours in the Jamesville neighbourhood. For close to a decade, we have been seeking a new site; purpose-built to serve men who are unhoused in our community.

The new site is an incredible opportunity to restore a century old building in Hamilton’s core and to create a beautiful, functional facility. The central location provides access to a variety of existing services and supports that aid in our community’s shared efforts to end homelessness. This location will enable Mission Services to maintain its 58 beds of Housing-focused emergency shelter with the ability to introduce up to 50 additional transitional-styled spaces. The purpose built, cutting-edge facility will meet pandemic infection and prevention control requirements while providing privacy and dignity to individuals who are working to secure permanent housing with 24/7 case management supports.

It is our intention to grow our current Early Intervention services to support individuals at risk of, or who are new to homelessness, find safe and sustainable housing.

Some concerns have been brought to our attention and we would like to address them here:

Move from Ward 2 to Ward 3:
The Ward 2 community currently houses a considerable concentration of social services, having had the majority of Hamilton’s emergency shelters within its boundaries for many years. Mission Services has had no pressure from the City or the Ward 2 community to leave the current location. We are moving because the James St. N. space is very limited and no longer meets our requirements:

  • the parking lot on the campus separates the shelter from the kitchen and dining space which fragments the function, safety and security of the facility.
  • the buildings are very old with aging infrastructure, are in deteriorating condition, are not purpose built. They provide a poor space to do the intentional work we are engaged in.
  • the need for emergency space has grown over the years, resulting in residents occupying basement areas never intended to be residential.

Mission Services has a good working relationship with the residents of the Jamesville community, much of which is residential. The neighbours know that when issues arise, Mission Services responds. We fully intend to have the same respectful, engaged relationship with the Community in Ward 3.

400 King St. East is being built to suit the unique needs of our services with the addition of modern, professional work and meeting spaces on-site to assist staff to deliver ongoing in-person case management. During the pandemic, our Housing Up team housed 240 individuals within the community and continues to support more than 200 individuals.

The focus and mandate of our emergency shelter is to assist individuals who are unhoused to find sustainable housing solutions within the community and to support them until they no longer require that support. We want to continue to build on the excellent work we have been doing in Ward 2 and we are committed to being part of the solution to homelessness, not perpetuating it.

Why This Neighbourhood?
We have been seeking a building of this size, with access to services within the core and to the homeless population in Hamilton. Ward 3 has the largest number of affordable rental units in the city. 400 King St. is appropriately zoned for our purposes.

Community Engagement
A community engagement session was held at our administrative building at 196 Wentworth St. N. on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Summary notes of the meeting can be found here.

In addition, we are happy to address individual questions and concerns and we can be reached by email (see above).

For more information about our men’s shelter program, please see our new article Mens Service Delivery Overview and our program overview page

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