Who We Are

The Dartmouth Shelter Society are a consortium of social justice advocates who are working to create safe spaces and emergency supports for individuals and families in crisis within the Dartmouth. Most emergency support systems serving the HRM are located in Halifax. This creates a challenge for people in crisis from Dartmouth as they are geographically separated from their social capitol and support networks.

Dartmouth has long been under served in terms of emergency shelters and housing. The Dartmouth Shelter Society will work to build a broad inventory of emergency shelters and housing in partnership with community stakeholders to ensure resources are available to citizens should they need them.

The leadership of people with lived experience trying to access emergency supports, shelter or housing shall be central to our planning and actions. The challenges and successes faced by those seeking supports will inform best practices and strategies as we move forward.

Our Mission

  • To address the lack of social and emergency supports in Dartmouth.
  • To create a broad inventory of emergency shelter and housing supports for citizens of Dartmouth
  • To address systemic issues which create barriers to emergency services for citizens of Dartmouth
  • To advocate at all levels of government and the community for the changes necessary to realize an efficient support structure for the citizens of Dartmouth.
  • To ensure emergency support services meet the needs of a broad range of people in a way which reflects their individual challenges and experiences.
  • To manage these resources in a way which is transparent and inclusive of the diverse communities requiring support.

Current Project

Sonlife Dartmouth Shelter

The Frank Mackay House is the first project of the Dartmouth Shelter Society. While the goal is to build an inventory of resources for the citizens of Dartmouth, the Frank Mackay House will support families and individuals who are not in active addiction. A “clean safe space” will support those who are succeeding in recovery but facing challenges with housing and finding employment. It will also ensure that the space is appropriate for families and children in crisis and individuals fleeing violence.

As the first Dartmouth emergency shelter, the needs of the most vulnerable in our community are our priority.