Every Friday evening, from the beginning of November to the end of March, we provide a safe, warm place to stay overnight, two full meals (dinner and breakfast), basic needs, access to a nurse, hot showers, clothing, toiletries, and haircuts. Through this program, we provide warmth, dignity and kindness


This community program is part of the Out of the Cold project operating throughout the week in various churches and other faith communities across Toronto.  Our volunteer-run program is organized and supervised by a dedicated group comprised of church and community members. The $1,000.00 weekly cost of the program is funded by individual, group and congregational donations. The City of Toronto assists with security and cleaning through a contract with Dixon Hall.



For approximately 21 weeks from the first week in November to the last week in March on Fridays from 5:00 p.m. until Saturday at 8:00 a.m. we provide:

  • a warm and friendly welcome
  • Snacks, coffee and tea before dinner
  • a hot, home-cooked, three course meal
  • nursing care
  • clean used clothing, toiletries, new underwear and socks, footwear
  • dinner for latecomers
  • a safe, quiet place to sleep
  • a hot breakfast
  • a bag lunch
  • a TTC token upon leaving in the morning



The users of the Out of the Cold Program at Eastminster reflect Toronto’s rich diversity. Each Friday, up to 130 guests of many ethnicities, faiths, economic backgrounds, and ages ranging from 18 to 80+ come in from the cold to access nourishing food and basic needs in a caring environment.

Our guests include homeless men and women as well as individuals who may have homes but are socially isolated or on very limited income.  Some of our guests struggle with mental illness and/or addictions. They appreciate the welcoming and non-judgmental atmosphere provided by our amazing volunteers and support staff. 45 individuals who prefer the safety and services of the OOTC program sleep overnight on mats.

COVID-19 and Out of the Cold


Cancelled for the rest of the season
As a result of coordinated discussions between Gloria, Out of the Cold staff & volunteers, the East End United COVID-19 task force, and Pam Cameron, and in following guidelines from Public Health, the East End United Out of the Cold overnight shelter program has been suspended.




We welcome individuals 14 and older who will follow the guidance of a Shift Leader and work as part of a team. All volunteers must demonstrate a respectful attitude in all interactions with our guests, other volunteers and supervisors.

If you can commit to a 2-3 hour shift to set up for dinner, serve, work in the kitchen, set-up the sleep room, socialize with guests, sort and distribute donated clothing, then register to volunteer from November to March. Community service hours are available for high school students.

Groups of 6 or more must contact the Volunteer Coordinator to schedule a group volunteer commitment.



Distributing practical warm clothing and toiletries from our pop-up clothing room is essential to support our guests’ dignity. Most of our guests are male, Med. - 4X. We greatly appreciate your carefully selected donations of the following clean items in excellent condition:

  • New underwear and undershirts for both men and women (medium to 4X)
  • New thermal long underwear
  • New cotton sports socks for men and women (no dress socks)
  • Men’s jeans, hoodies, sweatshirts, sweat pants (no dress clothes)
  • Men’s t-shirts and long sleeved tops
  • Winter coats for both men and women (no cloth coats)
  • Warm, water proof gloves for men and women
  • Sturdy winter boots for men and women (no dress boots)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes, small shampoos, tissue packets, disposable razors, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, small body lotions (no alcohol based products), oral hygiene products from your dentist, complementary hotel toiletries


Labelled donations can be dropped off 7 days a week at the main Jackman Ave. door.




OOTC is funded 100% by donations and run by volunteers – all money donated is used to fund the program.

  • $10 - buys a full dinner for a guest
  • $20 - buys 3 pairs of long johns
  • $50 - buys a pair of boots or a coat
  • $120 - buys breakfast for 40 guests / dessert for 120
  • $1000 – sponsors the program for one week


Cheques payable to East End United: subject line: Out of the Cold.

Tax-receipts (mailed in February) will be issued for any donation of $25 or more.



For questions related to individual or group volunteering, or access to Sign Upget in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator: eastminsterootc@gmail.com


Questions related to program, sponsorship or donations get in touch with our Program Coordinator, Gloria McPherson: eastminsterootc.coordinator@gmail.com