Photo by Cindy Cui / Photo Editor

By Christina Reed, Contributor

Every winter, many women in Hamilton find themselves without a safe, warm place to sleep. 

Without protection from the elements, these women struggle to survive. As affordable housing in Hamilton becomes increasingly inaccessible, the number of homeless women in Hamilton in need of emergency shelters rises each year. According to a 2018 community profile from the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 65 per cent of the 386 individuals identified as experiencing homelessness in Hamilton spent the night at a shelter.

In Hamilton, a number of non-profit organizations collectively work to address the needs of women vulnerable to homelessness. Mission Services of Hamilton, a Christian charity centred around eradicating poverty, runs Willow’s Place, a year-round drop-in hub that provides safety and amenities during daytime hours. This includes access to showers, harm reduction services, a secure place to rest and opportunities to engage in creative and social activities. In the winter, Willow's Place provides extended hours, given that they secure sufficient donor support.

Carole Anne’s Place is an overflow women’s shelter run during the winter months by the Young Women’s Christian Association of Hamilton, a women-led service organization that focuses on health and wellness programs. Women coming to Carole Anne’s place are greeted with a hot meal, a safe bed to sleep in and hot coffee the following morning. Bus tickets are provided so that women can travel between Willow’s Place and Carole Anne’s Place. 

Violetta Nikolskaya, Senior Program Analyst at the YWCA Hamilton and co-founder of the Women and Gender Equity Network at McMaster, said that working around the clock was key to working together and providing essential services. 

“Our relationship was built on the collaboration of women's services —  no one organization can do this alone,” she added.    

“Our relationship was built on the collaboration of women's services —  no one organization can do this alone,” said Violetta Nikolskaya, Senior Program Analyst at the YWCA Hamilton and co-founder of the Women and Gender Equity Network at McMaster 

This is the fourth winter that Carole Anne’s Place has supported homeless women in Hamilton. The program originated from another Hamilton non-profit, Out of the Cold, which offers hot meals to those in need over the winter months. 

Previously, Carol Anne’s Place had been funded by Out of the Cold and Hamilton-Niagara’s Local Health Integration Network, one of the 14 provincial authorities that governed public healthcare administration in 2019. Ontario’s 14 LHINs were replaced by a 12-member Ontario health agency board; as a result, the YWCA has lost access to previous funding. 

There would be no provincial support for Carole Anne’s Place to open on Dec. 1. Without funding, Carole Anne’s Place would be unable to open this winter, leaving many homeless women with nowhere to go during dangerously cold nights. Willow’s Place, which relies on donations, would also be unable to expand their winter hours without further funding this year.

On Nov. 6, in a last-minute push, City Hall approved $128,000 in emergency funding to keep Carole Anne’s Place and Willow’s Place available this winter. 

This is not a sustainable solution. Sam Merulla, the Ward 4 councillor who moved to provide the donation, sided with this point. 

"It's not good management to have someone all the sudden come in at the eleventh hour and say 'we need a quarter of a million dollars?' It's not good governance," said Merulla to CBC.

"It's not good management to have someone all the sudden come in at the eleventh hour and say 'we need a quarter of a million dollars?' It's not good governance," said Merulla.

According to Nikolskaya, it is not uncommon for initiatives such as Carole Anne’s Place and Willow’s Place to struggle with sustainable core funding. The need to maintain emergency shelters in Hamilton is becoming more urgent with the rising number of homeless women in the city. Nikolskaya reports that emergency women’s shelters have been over capacity for the last several years, and she has witnessed the amount of women seeking refuge at Carole Anne’s Place increasing with every year. 

In the winter of 2014-2015, Nikolskaya reports that only about five women would access Carole Anne’s programming per night. In the winter of 2018-2019, this number jumped to an average of 14 women per night, with some nights seeing as many as 20.  

Often reaching maximum capacity, Hamilton's shelters have been turning away women in recent years. This is likely linked to the rising  prevalence of homelessness in Hamilton and a lack of affordable housing.

While monetary donations play a huge role in supporting the YWCA and Mission Services, there are other ways to contribute. For example, donations of socks and underwear are also valuable. According to Nikolskaya, any contribution can be an impactful one in ensuring that no woman is left in the cold this winter.


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By: Christine Chow/Lifestyle Writer

After a long and draining day of classes, cleaning your face properly is the last thing you want to do before getting carried away by the sweet, blissful oblivion of sleep. Makeup wipes are the midnight pizzas of the skincare world. They’re quick, they get the job done and they’re terrible for you in a gazillion ways you never wanted to know.

Wipes are convenient for that ten-second tidy, but they’re often loaded with chemicals to extend their shelf life and to get makeup to come off easier. The problem lies in the residual chemicals that stay on your face when you don’t wash them off, and when you take that into account how abrasive wiping motions can be, it’s safe to say you’re doing an A+ job of making your skin hate you.

There is, however, no need for despair. Meet micellar water, the breakout star of the skincare industry and the answer to all your woes. For anyone who’s taken a course in biology, the theory behind micelles should be familiar. The oil molecules in micellar water, which form the hydrophobic (water-hating) interior, break down the dirt and oil on your face. The soft water, which forms the hydrophilic (water-loving) exterior by encasing oil molecules, then sweeps away the impurities. All in all, the two make a pretty kick-ass team.

Like make-up wipes, using micellar water is a one-step process. You apply a small amount of the water to a cotton ball, and you swipe it across your face, no rinsing required. But that’s where the similarities end. A softer alternative to the ‘90s harsh water crisis in Paris, micellar water contains only mild surfactants and is therefore free of any harsh chemicals that dry out or irritate sensitive skin.

Their targeted design makes them gentle and effective, removing other oils that contribute to future breakouts.

Prices for micellar water range anywhere from five to 50 dollars, depending on the brand. If you’re willing to splurge 30 dollars, try Bioderma Sensibio H2O: it started the micellar water trend, and is vouched for by many celebrities and their makeup artists, such as Gwyneth Paltrow. For the sceptics who simply want to test the waters, Simple offers a more affordable deal at seven dollars. Just keep in mind that not all types of micellar water are meant to be used on waterproof or long-lasting makeup, or you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment.

The main problem with makeup wipes stems from the assumption that they’re supposed to replace your daily skin cleansing routine, when they’re really just a quick fix. Although micellar water is a step-up from wipes, it’s still exactly just that: a quick fix. Use it while travelling, and when in a hurry, but make the effort to do the full routine every once in a while. Your skin will thank you down the road.

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Sometimes it feels like we live in a world that never sleeps. Our globalized media works 24/7 and access to any electronic device gives you a window into an active world at any time of the day. “All-nighters” and getting less than six hours of sleep have become acceptable, especially in university, and especially in our age group.

It’s well documented that people don’t get as much sleep as they used to, or as much as they need. A survey in the States found that people sleep an average of 1.2 hours less than they used to, and it’s not unreasonable to extrapolate those findings to Canadians. Another survey found that some Americans get 40 percent less sleep than recommended. Last January, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention announced that lack of sleep is a public health epidemic.

Unfortunately, not much has been done to remedy this problem, and our cultural conversations around sleep often encourage lack of sleep. We are exposed to these ideas about sleep early on. I remember hearing the phrase “sleep is for the weak” all through high school. People would brag about staying up all night to finish assignments, or even just talk on MSN – a long-forgotten social messaging program and cultural artifact of the early internet.

And when I came to university, many students talked about the heavy demands of student life, which meant that you couldn’t have it all, whatever “all” means. People like to say that you can only have two of the three most important things in university – sleep, grades, or a social life. In other words, no matter how hard you try, you will always need to sacrifice something to succeed here. This disposition towards sleep is perpetuated by the conversations we have about how busy we are, how little we sleep, how good we are at sleeping so little and being so busy. It’s not hard to understand why people engage in this type of unhealthy discourse, but it’s a problem that can be fixed one conversation at a time. When your friend says that they’re running on three hours of sleep, don’t respond with a tone of approval. Regular lack of sleep can indicate an inability to manage your time, or might be an indicator of mental health issues. These are both problems that need to be addressed, not normalized.

Most people already know the adverse effects of lack of sleep. Your mom or dad has probably given you a long lecture on it. It can cause obvious things like fatigue, irritability and weight gain, and can get as serious as anxiety, depression, hypertension and diabetes.

There will be times when you just can’t get enough sleep, but don’t make a habit of it. Don’t neglect sleep because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do to succeed in university. If you need those seven to nine hours of regular sleep and don’t get them, you’re hurting yourself and those around you.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Han Jae-Ho

I’m no stranger to 4 a.m. at Thode. In fact, I’m no stranger to 6 a.m. either. Despite countless times that I’ve heard all-nighters don’t help anyone, I ignore the advice and continue to power through pages of readings with the help of coffee, music, and comfortable clothes.

Sleep is important during exams, I know that (and you should too), but I’m the kind of person that gets really anxious about sleeping before I feel fully prepared (or as prepared as I can be) so I tend to stay in the library until the wee hours of the morning and then go home and sleep for a few hours.

In order to make sure that I don’t burn out or fall asleep face first during my exam, I follow a few personal rules. The first is that I’m in bed by 1 a.m. whenever I have an exam the next morning at 9 a.m. It doesn’t help anyone to be completely sleep-deprived before an exam.

Also, make sure you check the bus schedules. There’s nothing worse than being stuck on campus because you live too far to walk or being forced to make arrangements and a plan at the beginning of the night so you know when you’re ending your studying and packing up to go home.

Also make sure you have enough food or enough money to buy food. I always spend way more money during exam times because I have to order food or walk to Subway and get food because everything on campus closes as of 11 p.m.

Staying on campus is not for the weak. The Hunger Games seems like a Disney holiday special when you’ve experienced late nights at Thode. People start mowing on food, sleeping on desks, and snapping at anyone that talks above a whisper.

If libraries aren’t your thing, you may like the Student Centre instead. There are plenty of couches, floor space, and sparse amount of people after night falls. That way, you can also take naps in between chapters, which is very important.

If you’re going to be spending the better part of a day studying, take a power nap. Twenty minutes of shut-eye will make all the difference of absorbing that dense textbook you didn’t open until exam period. Just make sure that you’re not napping more than twenty minutes if you want to power nap. Longer naps of an hour to an hour and a half are okay if you have that much time to spare.

The last thing to consider is what to wear to all night study sessions. Sure, you can be that person who wears a full fashionable outfit to the library to study, but you may not be comfortable enough to stay in it for hours.

Think sweatpants, loose fitting pants, and comfortable sleepwear, like Snuggies. That’s right, I said it. Although Snuggies aren’t super practical to take to the bathroom, they do have the benefit of allowing you to work while being fully blanketed.

Another option is the onesie. This is practical to wear to the bathroom, although it takes some maneuvering unless you have one of those buttflaps.

If you want to spend late hours in the library, there are many advantages that include study space, lots of outlets, and it is generally quieter. However, make sure you’re prepared for it. Eat well, sleep well, do well. Grab your Snuggie, your sweatpants, or your onesie, and I’ll see you in Thode.

By: Grace Bocking

It always begins with that anxiety in the pit of my stomach. I see the alarm clock, poised in anticipation, ticking away the hours until it gets to go off in an explosion of horns and sirens to wake me from what should have been a blissful eight hours of sleep. I lie there, accompanied only by the noises being created by my roommate upstairs who’s doing god-knows-what at this hour. I try different sleeping positions. I count some sheep. Heck, I even get out of bed and make a pathetic attempt at yoga because that’s supposed to help, right?

Wrong. Nothing works. Insomnia is like some incurable disease that preys on the sleepdeprived. Those of you who have REM cycles that are practically on demand won’t be able to relate to any of these frustrations. However, if you are far too familiar with early morning infomercials (the ShamWow guy never sleeps either), you’ll understand where I’m coming from.  There is nothing worse than not being able to sleep when you really need to, and I have the dark circles to prove it.

Of course, this isn’t to say that insomniacs aren’t able to get a couple hours of sleep in some of the time. At some point after your full emotional breakdown at 3 a.m., your thoughts finally stopped talking and you must have fallen asleep. Maybe you didn’t get enough of a rest to function properly the next day, but you’ll get by if you have a coffee...or three. Starbucks makes a killing off of you.

Still, the worst part about insomnia isn’t the money you spend on caffeine each morning, but the fact that it always strikes at the worst possible time. So, you have a midterm the next morning in that godforsaken 8:30 a.m. class? Don’t count on getting enough sleep, kid, you’re staying wide awake. You have a job interview tomorrow and want to look your best? Here’s hoping you can rock those bags under your eyes.

While the rest of the world lies unconscious, there are always a few of us awake in our beds, watching the hours pass by. I don’t mind having to pull the occasional all-nighter, but at some point, sunrises lose their appeal.  The next time you see one of us in the library, slouched over with drool coming out of our mouth, don’t judge. We’re just catching up on the sleep we’ve been missing out on.



Tired and frustrated university student


1. The Commanding Position principle of Feng Shui. Your bed must be as far from your door as possible. So, if you live in a small room and are unable to move into a dance studio, your “chee” will be right out of luck.

The best , i use and I feel better Online canadian pharmacy! All the medications one can see in our product lists are generic.

2. If you cut your toenails before bed (that includes mani/pedis), your parents will face an unfortunate death before you see them again. Perhaps the person who founded this superstition had a morbid fear of toenail clippings in the bed. It’s gross, yes, but does it warrant parental death?! We think not. Better play it safe though.

3. Think your significant other is cheating on you? Where the swans at? If you think those two sentences are distinctly separated, you’re right. But according to this superstition, they may be more intertwined than we thought. Sewing a swan’s feather into your lover’s pillow is supposed to protect against infidelity. Probably because their sleep will be enhanced by a single extra feather though.

4. Cake underneath the pillow, see the man of your dreams. Apparently you can do a lot while you sleep to control relationships, including the start of one! Sleeping with a slice of wedding cake under your pillow will introduce you to your future husband in your dreams. At least now when you see him, you’ll have the least creepy ice-breaker to get this thang going!

5. Dreaming about teeth is not an invitation for the tooth fairy.In fact, you might need your tooth fairy as a cuddle buddy, because dreaming of teeth means someone is going to die. You won’t know who, but someone will die. This superstition doesn’t take into account the laws of population growth apparently. Regardless, tell your dream to your least favourite plant and it will die instead.


With the stressful season of midterms upon us, troubles with sleep are likely to creep into your habits. Decode your symptoms to see whether you’re simply stressed, sleep deprived or have a major problem on your hands.

 Insomnia: Insomnia is a difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Someone can grow in and out of this disorder depending on stress, diet and changes to health.
 Hypersomnia: Hypersomnia is defined as a constant state of sleepiness during the day, even after having rested at night. It can also refer to a prolonged sleeping time at night.
Somniloquy: the former name for sleep-talking
Somnambulism: the former name for sleep-walking

Sleep Apnea: This disorder is characterized by pauses in breathing while sleeping. Essentially extreme snoring, sleep apnea is diagnosed via an overnight sleeping test called a polysomnogram, or more simple, a “sleep study.” Characterized by sleep disturbances and excessive daytime sleepiness, a person affected can go an entire lifetime without being diagnosed.

 Sleep Paralysis: Historically perceived as a “demonic visitation,” sleep paralysis is characterized by an inability to move when falling asleep or waking up. It is said to occur during the REM phases of sleep to prevent a person from physically acting on or reacting to their dreams.


-       2: the number of hours that REM sleep occupies per night. REM usually begins about 90 minutes after falling asleep.

-       10 %: the amount of snorers affected with sleep apnoea- a disorder which stops breathing up to 300 times a night and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.

-       Daylight Savings: the extra hour of sleep received when clocks are put back has been found to coincide with a decrease in the number of road accidents.

-       If you do not fall back asleep within 15-20 minutes, you should get out of bed, go to another room and engage in a relaxing activity such as listening to music or reading. Return to bed when you feel sleepy and avoid watching the clock.

-       11 days: the longest someone has gone without sleep. For obvious reason, Guinness has stopped keeping record of voluntary sleep deprivation.  Randy Gardner, the record holder, reported hallucinations, short-term memory loss and an inability to focus.

-       After 17–19 hours without sleep, performance test results are comparable to those completed by a well over intoxicated person.

-       Apparently, the idea of counting sheep to get to sleep might go back to ancient shepherds, who had to literally count their sheep every night before turning in


Ronald Leung / Silhouette Staff


  Caffeine Adderall (and other psycho-stimulants) Energy Drinks Sleep
Availability Found in most tea bags, coffee products (not decaf, obviously), and your local coffee shop. Legally only distributed as a prescribed medication. Not meant to be used as a studying stimulant. Readily purchasable at supermarkets and convenience stores. No money required for purchase. Only investment needed is a time commitment.
Effectiveness Depends widely on each individual. Some live by caffeine, some feel it does nothing to boost energy. Caffeine tolerance can also build, requiring increasingly large portions.  Has varying effects, but most users describe having the ability to zero-in on a task with stringent focus for hours on end. Energy drinks are simply heavily-caffeinated drinks, so they would have the amplified effects of a cup of coffee. Requires multiple sessions of adequate sleep, but the effects pay off by allowing for more energy-filled and focused study sessions
Side-Effects Twitching/uncontrolled muscle movements, sleep problems, loss of appetite. Headaches, inability to fall asleep, dry mouth, restlessness. More serious side effects include difficulty breathing, migraines, seizures, depression. Dizziness, insomnia, irregular heart rate, agitation, breathing problems, tremors. (In healthy amounts) better memory, mood, and immune system. Balanced appetite, more logical thinking process.

You’re running through the woods as fast as you can. Your legs give in as you grasp at the air for support. You look around for help and scream at the top of your lungs. There’s nothing left for you to do. You resort to a religion you abandoned years before and start to pray that you make it through.

You wake up.

Heart pounding, mind racing, you bring your hand to your face and realize it was just a dream. A sigh of relief passes through your body as you attempt to re-cap the details of the story your mind just produced. So I wasn’t a tribute in the Hunger Games. So I wasn’t just dangling off of a 40 storey building surrounded by the members of Nickelback. Whatever the conclusion may be, one of the greatest feelings is that of the realization of a nightmare. Knowing your life is not in explicit danger is enough to kick-start your day, or, make you seek psychological help.

As of lately I haven’t been one for nightmarish thoughts. But, when I was at the young, joyfully boisterous age of 15, after my family had moved into a new house, a string of dark and throttling dreams moved into my mind. Terror and excitement soon ensued.

After reoccurring dreams that involved being mauled by birds and several nights resulting in me wandering into my parent’s room at 4 a.m., tears streaming down my cheeks, my family decided to take action and put an end to my newfound Steven King-esque mind. My mother insisted the problem had to do with the “Feng Shui” of the room, and subsequently rearranged all my furniture. My sister headed over to a garden store and purchased a dream catcher, and my dad drove me to the doctors to seek professional assistance. I had faith in mother’s and sister’s attempts to clear my thoughts, but was favouring more heavily what the doctor had to say.

Turns out, I was lactose intolerant. Apparently the discomfort caused by my milk ingestion was leading to the upsetting thoughts.

Nightmares may sometimes seem to be dark and foreboding visions giving a glimpse into the hidden recesses of your mind, but sometimes the cause or solution can be as simple as the position of your window or newly developed dietary restrictions.

Ancient Egyptians believed that if you had a good dream, it meant something bad was about to happen. Therefore, bad dreams were often a sign of good luck. Meanwhile, the good ol’ Babylonians believed that good dreams were caused by kind, harmless spirits, while bad dreams were manifestations of Satan. Exorcists, take note.

For as long as people have been lulling into sleepy time story time, humans have worked to interpret the meaning of these unique and personal visions. Nightmares have caused a particularly inquisitive approach due to their frightening and shocking nature.

“I felt scared, it was as though it really happened. I felt like I was in shock,” explained second year Social Work and Psychology student Keilly when asked how she felt after her last nightmare.

“The memory lingers with you,” further expressed second year English and Art History student Jamie.

One of the main reasons why nightmares are so terrifying is due to their relation to real life. If something is causing you anxiety, it’s likely that your subconscious will reflect the same fears in your dreams. Other common causes of nightmares include increased consumption of caffeine, memories of a traumatic event and unfinished emotional business. If you’re looking to make your terrorizing dreams come to an end, begin by assessing any unique situations currently plaguing your personal life, and proceed to speak to someone about how you’re feeling. Even try imagining a happier ending to your vision to reverse the damage of the previously traumatic finish.

If you find yourself startled and awake from a nightmare, just relax and remind yourself that it was just a dream. And while you’re at it, thank your lucky stars you aren’t lactose intolerant.

By: Jennifer Bacher


Christmas break is long gone and yet the winter drags on. No longer do we have the days of going to bed at 2 a.m. and sleeping till noon. Back to the books and back to the essays, labs and all those other assignments you’re facing this term. A good night’s sleep can seem like an impossible luxury, but it can help you tackle the day with ease. If you find yourself staring at the ceiling late into the night, try these foods to help you drift into peaceful sleep:


Herbal Tea

Teas such as chamomile and any herbal tea have been known to aid in relaxation and relieve anxiety. Try brewing a cup and enjoy while reading a book in bed.



Almonds are an excellent bedtime snack. The magnesium in almonds relaxes muscles and their protein content keeps your sugar levels stable while you sleep. Try a handful before bed.



A cup of warm milk is the tradition route to help catch some Zzz’s. If you’re not a fan of straight warm milk try it in some decaffeinated tea, in hot chocolate or with some honey. You could also try a bowl of cereal with milk. Carbohydrate–rich foods increase the availability of tryptophan, the sleep-inducing effect also seen in turkey.



Like milk and turkey, bananas are also high in tryptophan. Try some bananas with peanut butter, on their own or as a sandwich.



Enjoying snacks with carbohydrates and calcium will aid in a blissful sleep. Try Triscuits with melted cheese or turkey.

By: Ana Qarri


Dear Sleep,

I’m leaving you.

Don’t exhaust yourself by pretending to be surprised, like you never dreamed this day would come. I know you knew this was coming.

Maybe it was the nights I didn’t spend with you. Maybe it was the mornings I lay down with you just to humour you. Maybe it was the bags under my eyes, becoming more and more commonplace.

As I made my way between friends and parties and last-minute essays, I could feel you trying to pull me closer. I was unconscious of any hurt I caused you. I wanted to stay with you; I do still. I’m not tired of our relationship. I wished there was a compromise we could make, but I know now I was asking for too much.

However, before you start crying and I sit here unsure of how to comfort you, let’s put things into perspective: our relationship was never healthy. Sure, we had our special nights, when it felt like our time together went by faster than second term. We had those few weekends when we were united until the late hours of the afternoon. We have those moments stolen in class, sometimes drawing the disapproving stares of my peers. But between these rare days were periods that stretched, when you and I rarely saw each other. When we did, it wasn’t out of love: it was out of habit.

Sleep, you should know that I find you extremely pleasant. All in all, you’re pretty chill. I still want us to hang out sometimes, preferably on the weekend, preferably when I don’t have other plans.

If you want to talk, I’m here.

It’s not you, it’s actually me.



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