On Friday, April 1, the tiny shelter that has been auspiciously placed in Bishopsgate, just outside Christ’s Church Cathedral in downtown Hamilton, was buzzing with activity. Hamilton community members gathered for a literal open house to learn more about the initiative supported by the diocese. The group that will be building and placing these shelters, Hamilton Alliance for Tiny Shelters (HATS), was on-site as well to take questions from curious citizens.
Outside, HATS coordinator Tony D’Amato Stortz spoke with interested community members and shared survey data accumulated over the past month regarding the need for a housing stopgap like the tiny shelters. A formal presentation was led inside Christ’s Church Cathedral by Archdeacon David Anderson, rector of St. John the Evangelist, Hamilton, and Deirdre Pike, diocesan Social Justice Coordinator and Senior Social Planner for the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton.
Anderson opened with land acknowledgement and welcome to the cathedral. He emphasized in his opening remarks that shelter is a basic human right: “God calls us to a future where everyone has a home, where they can flourish and be who their Creator intended them to be.” He praised the wide breadth of non-profit partners working to address sustainable solutions to homelessness, and noted that we cannot wait for long-term solutions without entertaining short-term strategies for addressing the immediate needs of our fellow citizens.
“Jesus told a story about a fool who built his house on the sand; wise people build on a foundation,” Anderson reminded attendees. “Let us build on the shared commitment of common good in the city so everyone can have a home and flourish.”