The City of Kingston has announced that the former Fairfield East Retirement Home will become a new shelter, run by Home Base Housing. On Friday, the City and community partners will help Home Base Housing open the temporary physical-distancing shelter at 670 MacLean Ct, in Kingston’s east end.
Those experiencing homelessness, or those who are concerned about a person in need of help, can call 613-561-5839 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to alert the Street Outreach Team, which the City says has re-doubled its efforts to make contact with those who are experiencing homelessness and encourage shelter usage.
“We would like to thank those who are experiencing homelessness who are working with us to act responsibly and access services safely. Imagine adding extra layers of prevention and caution to the difficulty of being homeless,” saidTom Greening, CEO, Home Base Housing. “We would also like to thank the community for accepting this temporary space.”
At the same time, In From The Cold emergency shelter will be moving their operations to the east end location, as well.
“Our current shelter is based on communal facilities and sleeping areas. In light of the current crisis and to protect the health and lives of the homeless and our staff we needed to temporarily move to a facility that our most vulnerable can physically distance themselves from others with separate rooms and washrooms. This will allow us to protect and support the most vulnerabl among us,” Greening said.
According to Home Base Housing, their organization has been working with the City for the past four weeks to find a location that could support the needs of the homeless community in Kingston during the COVID-19 pandemic. They noted that, once the facility was secured by the City, they had very little time to get the facility and staffing ready.
“The Board of Home Base is extremely proud of all our staff who have tirelessly worked to ensure the most vulnerable in our community are not forgotten. The nimbleness, willing to do what it takes, and leadership have proven time and time again the outstanding capacity of humanity and organization strength our employees demonstrate on a daily basis,” said Ed Smith, President of the Home Base Housing Board of Directors. “We aren’t always warm and fuzzy, we push other organizations, government and anyone who is in a position to help, to do more. At Home Base Housing, we work diligently with limited resources and endless obstacles to get people the support they need.We want to thank the City and our other partners for stepping up.”
The move comes after the Fairfield Manor West site, at 805 Ridley Drive, was also converted to temporarily house the city’s vulnerable population who have been referred there by the COVID-19 assessment centre.
The new shelter will operate like the In From the Cold shelter, with additional COVID-19 measures in place. KFL&A Public Health supported the set-up of space for physical distancing.