Possible long-term plan in the works for sleeping cabin program

Crossroads United Church, located at 690 Sir John A Macdonald Boulevard. Photo via Crossroads United Church website.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published on Thursday, Jun. 6, 2024, at 2:29 p.m. Please see bottom of article for most recently updated information.

Kingston’s sleeping cabin community may have a new, more long-term home thanks to a possible collaboration between Crossroads United Church and Our Livable Solutions (OLS).

OLS is the organization behind the sleeping cabins project, which began in October 2021 as a partnership between the organization and the City of Kingston. Over time, the sleeping cabins were moved from Portsmouth Olympic Harbour to Centre 70, a pattern that repeated for the fall and winter, and spring and summer seasons respectively. While the promise of a long-term location for the sleeping cabins was explored more than once with the City remaining a partner in the project, in November 2023, Kingston City Council instead voted to “wind down” the program, essentially leaving the cabins and the community in and around them without a plan for the future.

But a new collaboration may add a new chapter to the sleeping cabins story.

According to a release from Crossroads United Church, as part of its Social Justice Commitment, the congregation has voted to negotiate a land lease for $1 a year with OLS, the operator of the sleeping cabin program. The cabins would reportedly occupy a portion of an underused lot at the rear of the church, which is located across from Kingston Centre, and the cabins would be moved to the Crossroads site in the Fall of 2024.

A service module structure with washrooms, laundry and kitchen facilities would be added to form a new self-contained community called “Crossroads Village”. According to the release, the site features easy access to stores and transit and sits next to the site of Providence Village, where a wellness complex is currently under construction.

Crossroads United Church, indicated above with a red marker, is located in central Kingston. Satellite image of Kingston via Google Maps.

“We are looking forward to working with the City and Crossroads to help stabilize the sleeping cabin program so OLS can continue its good work,” said OLS Founder and Acting Executive Director Chrystal Wilson, in a statement.

The proposal still needs City planning approval, as well as the installation of a utility hookup at the site, according to the church. A public meeting will be held at Crossroads United Church on Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2024, at 7 p.m. to explain the plan and hear comments about the proposal from area residents and current church rental clients.

The Kingston community is also invited to a benefit concert for OLS on Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2024, at 7 p.m. at Crossroads Church, featuring the Frontenac Concert Band and the Martello Alley Cats, the church relayed.

Kingstonist has reached out to OLS for more information and possible design plans for Crossroads Village. Further coverage will be provided as more information becomes available.

Graphic via OLS.

Update (Friday, Jun. 7, 2024, 11:25 a.m.):

In response to Kingstonist inquiries, Chrystal Wilson, Acting Executive Director of OLS, said that design plans and funding arrangements for Crossroads Village will be part of a second announcement from the involved parties, which will be made following completion of all contract agreements.

“We also want to make sure our current residents, people waiting to get into the program, and future neighbours have the opportunity to give input into the community design,” Wilson noted.

2 thoughts on “Possible long-term plan in the works for sleeping cabin program

  • This is such good news!! Many of the residents of the cabins would have to return to the street if this important option for people without a home ends. I have been at the cabin winter location and was so impressed with the community atmosphere, the cleanliness, the staff and happy residents. It is to the credit of these two community organizations that they are stepping up and hope the City Planning Committee follows suit.

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