Mohawk College and Westdale Secondary partner with HATS - In the news
Mohawk College and Westdale Secondary dual credit construction students have recently pitched in to build a cabin for the recently launched Hamilton Alliance for Tiny Shelters (HATS) program.
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Mohawk College and Westdale Secondary dual credit construction students in Hamilton, together with the support of the Hamilton Alliance for Tiny Shelters (HATS), will be building a cabin to help unhoused people who are currently living rough or in makeshift tent encampments. This cabin will form part of the proposed tiny shelter community, that will help provide stability for people experiencing homelessness, providing warmth and safety while bringing together service agencies to support the individual needs of the residents. The team-taught dual credit in Construction began in September 2022.
“As we move away from the pandemic, students have been eager to re-engage and get involved with our community again,” said David Kipp, Construction Technology Teacher at the school...”Developing this relationship with HATS came at an ideal time. The student sand I are excited to be working with them and to see change that can happen in our community."
Marty Umanetz, an instructor at Mohawk College is the co-teacher on the project and helped to source materials for the cabin build. Amini cabin model created to scale has already been built by one of the students. HATS is planning to set up Hamilton’s first tiny cabin community this winter! A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $8,000 to date to build the tiny cabins, as well as provide infrastructure and wrap-around services for residents.
Consultations with people living unhoused have provided valuable advice to ensure the needs of those experiencing homelessness are included in the program’s design. The Tiny Shelters initiative takes the School College Work dual credit program to the next level by involving an authentic real-world work experience that serves a critical need. Students engaged in construction technology dual credits explore pathways to apprenticeship in construction which are in high demand in the Golden Horseshoe Region.
“This winter is predicted to be particularly cold, so we must do all we can to get the cabins on the ground Christmas,” said Julia Kollek, Chair of HATS...”; And at Thanksgiving, those of us who have a home can feel grateful, while at the same time showing compassion for our neighbours around us who are less fortunate.”
HATS engaged in productive conversations with a Hamilton property owner and once details are finalized, hope to have an announcement in early November about a potential location for the small community of tiny cabins. The lockable units would be approximately 100 square feet, with a bed, microwave, small fridge and heating inside. “It would be a private space where people could feel safe and heal,” said Tom Cooper, Director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, and a HATS Board member.
To make this happen, HATS is seeking donations from the community. Each cabin costs approximately $5,000 to build and the hope is to raise enough funds to build 10 tiny shelters, along with a communal meeting space and washroom facilities.
And over the next few weeks, stories of individuals currently experiencing homelessness will be shared through the Hamilton Tiny Shelters social media accounts.
Article adapted from: HATS Press Release