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City putting Housing First to end homelessness

March 14, 2014 -

KINGSTON, ONT./March 14, 2014 –  The City is committed to implementing its 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan aiming to end homelessness in Kingston over the next decade by taking a "Housing First" approach and rapidly rehousing homeless people.  As part of the implementation, the City will restructure the emergency shelter system.

"The goal is to get people out of shelters and into homes quickly. The focus on housing first, means we will need fewer shelter spots.  We need to shift municipal resources to reflect our focus and its impact," says Lanie Hurdle, Commissioner of Community Services.  "Homeless clients with the highest needs will receive intensive support to find and stay in supported housing."

An Information Report going to the Housing & Homelessness Advisory Committee on Thursday, March 20 outlines how the City will implement the second phase of its 10-Year Municipal Housing & Homelessness Plan.

RESTRUCTURING THE EMERGENCY SHELTER SYSTEM TO PUT HOUSING FIRST Implementation Report #2 plan calls for:

  • The re-allocation of provincial and municipal homelessness funding being re-aligned to support Rapid Rehousing/Housing First program.
  • A reduction in emergency shelter-beds funded from 74 to 70 by July 1, 2015. This reduction is based on a detailed analysis of daily shelter bed usage at the city's six emergency shelters in 2012 and 2013.
  • A Request for Interest to be issued in the Spring of 2014 will seek parties to manage four Housing Assistance/Emergency Shelter Centres as follows: 
    • a 25-bed Adult co-ed shelter;
    • a 15-bed Family shelter;
    • a 15-bed Youth shelter; and
    • a 15-bed overflow shelter

The three specialized Housing Assistance/Emergency Shelter Programs will operate as shelters and offer housing support.

When necessary, these shelters will be supplemented by the 15-bed overflow shelter and the use of a motel voucher system and mat program.  The City expects to be able to reduce capacity by an additional five beds periodically, until stabilizing at 55 funded beds sometime in 2017, by closing the overflow shelter if feasible.

Information Report #1 to the Housing & Homelessness Advisory Committee, issued in January, focused on the details and implementation strategies related to Prevention/Diversion and Basic Supports programs. 

For more in the 10-Year Municipal Housing and Homelessness Strategy, go to www.CityofKingston.ca/housing.

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Media Relations Officer, 613-546-4291, ext. 3116 (cell 613-329-3462). Or call Communications at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.

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