United Way boosts new Youth Hub with $435,000 in funding

Just days after the announcement of its new Youth Services Hub, Home Base Housing is welcoming in the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) as its first partner with a contribution totaling $435,000.00 to help relocate One Roof Youth Services Hub.

“One Roof already does some phenomenal things” said Daren Dougall, chair of the United Way KFL&A board of directors. “This contribution will create a permanent home for One Roof and ensure that it will continue serving youth in the community for many years to come.”

One Roof, which currently operates in a small facility on Barrie Street, serves as a contact point for 27 other organizations and also offers services like showers, skills training and access to food and housing resources.

Daren Dougall, Chair of the United Way KFL&A shares the announcement of $435,000 in funding to support the new Youth Service Hub. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

“It’s so cramped on Barrie Street, but it has already turned out to be so successful that the provincial government is using it as a model for service hubs in other communities,” noted Ed Smith, chair of the Home Base Housing board of directors.

“This new facility is going to have so much more room for the agencies,” he added, noting that there are plans to create additional space for arts, fitness, recreational uses, and a commercial-grade kitchen.

In order to provide the contribution for the new location, funding is being directed from two sources.

The United Way’s Youth Homelessness Fund is providing $350,000. The United Way has been working on its plan to eliminate youth homelessness in Kingston since 2014 and generated funds for this contribution through the Kingston Penitentiary Tours and the Rockin’ the Big House concert in the summer of 2019.

In addition to its own funding, the United Way is has secured federal money for the project from the government’s homelessness strategy initiative.

MP Mark Gerretsen, left, and Mayor Bryan Paterson give remarks during the United Way announcement. The federal government is providing $85,000 towards the relocating of One Roof. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

“Youth homelessness is a significant problem right across our country,” said MP Mark Gerretsen. “I’ve always been reassured by the passion drivers our community gets behind. The concept Home Base Housing is doing right here where our youth are and to take on a challenging project [like this] is really Kingston,” he added while sharing the news of the federal contribution.

“We have an incredible partnership with the United Way to make Kingston a leader in helping to address the issue of youth homelessness,” said Mayor Bryan Patterson at the announcement. “Enabling youth to access whatever support they might need at one hub has been critical. This is expanding that vision to help even more youth and set them up for success.”

Concept art provided by the United Way shows the new location of One Roof in the Princess Street United Church building.

In making this contribution, the United Way has set a new record for its largest single investment in capital.

“The United Way has a commitment to reducing and eliminating homelessness,” Dougall commented when asked about the record-setting contribution. “When the opportunity came to us for this relocation and we had the funds from the Kingston Pen Tours and the concert, we thought ‘What better way to invest the money into a project that clearly will make a difference to our youth?'”

As part of the first phase of the new service hub, One Roof is expected to open at the new location in late spring 2020.

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