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Gingerbread house kits raise funds for tiny crisis shelters in Halifax

Last year, to help unhoused people survive winter, a group of volunteers in Halifax started erecting tiny crisis shelters. Weather-insulated units of around six by eight feet, the shelters are built by Halifax Mutual Aid, an anonymous group of carpenters and other community members. It's a band-aid solution, but in the year since HMA was founded, it kept 53 people out of the cold.

Each shelter takes about CAD 1,400 to build. To raise both money and awareness, creative agency Shortshop developed a kit with dry ingredients and instructions for building a gingerbread home. The kit also includes an illustrated story about a child who befriends unhoused neighbors, helping parents talk about homelessness with their kids.

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Housing isn't just one of our most basic human needs, it's a human right. Faced with an ongoing housing crisis in Nova Scotia, an ad hoc group of citizens is exercising basic human needs of their own: those of empathy and connection to others, and to the city they call home.

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