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Progress on ending homelessness in Kingston

July 3, 2015 –

Homeless individuals and families in Kingston and Frontenac are now being housed in permanent, supportive housing.

The City of Kingston developed the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan as required by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and adopted the housing first approach and designed a local Housing and Homelessness Services system.  The plan development included a study of the local emergency shelter system. The study determined that Kingston had more beds than were needed, often leaving beds vacant. 

"In January, Kingston adopted the housing-first model that has been successful in other municipalities," said Mayor Bryan Paterson. "Since then, we have provided homes to 40 households. This progress is helping us end chronic homelessness and reduce the time people are homeless by providing not only housing, but also the supports people need to stay housed."

In 2013, the City conducted a "point-in-time count" and identified approximately 106 individuals and families that were homeless at that time. Of the 40 newly-housed households, about half had been frequent shelter users and are receiving the supports they need to keep their homes.

"We continue to bring more housing into the program by offering rent supplements to landlords," said Sheldon Laidman, director of housing and social services for the City. "Rent supplements guarantee a top-up to the tenants' rent to landlords. The City is looking for more landlords to participate in this program." 

Interested landlords may contact Valerie Watson, housing programs administrator, at 613-546-2695 ext. 4948 or vwatson@cityofkingston.ca.

There will continue to be a need for shelters. Last year, the City issued a request-for-proposals that identified service providers to operate shelters for various client groups. They are:

  • Elizabeth Fry Kingston: six beds for women
  • Lily's Shelter: (Operated by Home Base) 19 beds for families
  • In from the Cold: (Operated by Home Base) 29 beds for men and women
  • Kingston Youth Shelter: 15 beds for youth aged 16-24

With the receipt of one-time provincial funding, the City was able to fund Ryandale shelter as a 15-bed overflow shelter for all client groups until June 30, 2016.

The City's intention is to provide funding to Dawn House to provide shelter and general housing support to its existing clients to the end of September, 2015. Money is also available to help Dawn House work with a consultant to develop financial and business options for the agency's role in the housing and homeless system after September. 

The Salvation Army's Harbour Light is no longer operating as an emergency shelter effective July 1, 2015. 

Although there are no emergency shelters in the County of Frontenac, emergency shelter options are being explored and there are two workers who provide housing support services to County clients to prevent homelessness and help clients stayed housed.

About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 120,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. In 2014, it was named a Top 7 Smart Community by the Intelligent Community Forum. Our vision – to become Canada's most sustainable city – focusses our efforts on: environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality.

Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

Twitter: @CityofKingston

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCityofKingston

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, communications officer, 613-546-4291, ext. 3116, or call the communications department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.