Site Navigation

Charles Street Men's Hostel

The Charles Street Men’s Hostel is one of the emergency shelters in Waterloo Region.    Emergency shelters have collectively adopted a housing first philosophy and model of practice while serving people experiencing homelessness. The goal of the Charles Street Men’s Hostel is to provide individually appropriate supports to empower men experiencing homelessness to move into housing as soon as possible.

The Hostel offers:

  • Short term room and board (shared rooms)
  • Support if needed to make a plan to search for housing
  • Support if needed to search for housing
  • Opportunity to contribute to running the Hostel and participating in community

For more information see the description below or call (519) 742-8327 or e-mail


Picture of Hostel

Arriving at The Charles Street Men's Hostel

photo of a man

  • Eligibility: Self identify as male;16 years of age or older; without a current address
  • To apply: Walk-in to register; Third party or self-referral
  • Registration: Complete forms seeking basic information and background information;orientation to the hostel is provided; you will be assigned a bed.


Services Offered...

photo of a man

We meet men “where they are at” in order to support them in ways that are immediately relevant and respectful.  Our primary role is not to “do for” men, but to “walk with” men to support, encourage and empower them to move on from homelessness to stable housing of their choice.  We believe that with the right supports people can maintain housing stability and create a home in the community.

There are four areas of service in the hostel that offer a range of supports to men as they search for housing:

  1. Room and Board – short term room and board provides an initial stability from which a man can take the steps necessary to find housing
  2. Plan for Housing Search – as quickly as possible after registration (usually within 48 hours) staff will meet with the man to offer support and encouragement as needed to create a plan for seeking housing.  We expect that a plan for seeking housing will be in place within two weeks of registering in the hostel.  At that time a man’s stay can be extended if there is an established housing search and it has not yet resulted in finding housing.
  3. Housing Search Support – staff offer information, referral and practical support as needed while a man is searching for housing.  
  4. Community Inclusion – House of Friendship's organizational vision is “a healthy community where everyone can belong and thrive”.  Therefore it is our vision for the Charles Street Men’s Hostel not only that men will find housing in the community while staying in the Hostel,  but that men will also grow in their experience of inclusion and being part of the community.  Therefore men are invited to participate in the basic operation of the residence (eg. become involved in planning social events, be part of weekly house meetings where feedback about the hostel is sought.)  After men have moved out staff offer support with specific practical issues as well as with building personal connections and community inclusion.


  • Meet with staff and establish a housing search plan within 14 days
  • Follow guidelines for safe conduct (e.g be respectful, no fighting)
  • Follow other guidelines (eg. access to laundry, meal times)

Daily Schedule: click here to see a typical daily schedule


Program Funding and User Fees...

The program is funded by Region of Waterloo Social Services Department, United Way, individual donations and program fees.

Room and board payment is based on income and ability to pay.