There are currently twenty-two tiny homes installed at ‘A Better Tent City’. With the support of our parishioners, the Diocese of Hamilton, and the broader Catholic community, all of these homes have been winterized, hooked up to electricity, and provided with heaters. This will keep the residents warm and safe through the coldest months of winter. There are also plans underway to build ten more units inside the building to provide more security to the individuals still living indoors in tents.
Beyond keeping people warm and safe, the tiny homes have had a huge impact on the wellbeing of residents. One resident named Dean* has been in and out of the shelter system for years. When he got his keys, he sat down on his new bed and cried. No more getting robbed, no more freezing nights in a tent. He was home. Another female resident was on the phone with her mom, when her mom asked where she was. She replied, “I’m at home mom. I’m at home”. She hadn’t been able to say those words for years.
There is still lots of work to do to stabilize and improve ‘A Better Tent City’ for the individuals who need it most. Anyone who would like to support the project can do so by making a financial donation to the St. Mary’s Outreach Program** or contacting Tony D’Amato Stortz, the Outreach Coordinator for the Parish.
* – Not his real name
** – Specify in the notes that the donation is for “Outreach”