Warming and Counselling Centre opens in downtown Kingston

The Kingston Warming and Counselling Centre is now open at 235 Wellington Street, inside the GoodLife Fitness building. Photo by Dominic Owens.

Anyone who has been outside over the past few days knows the cold weather is definitely here in Kingston.

At the same time, a new Warming and Counselling Centre has opened in the city’s downtown core. Located at 235 Wellington Street, the centre is offering a place to warm up, as well as counselling services seven days a week from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. from now until April.

The Kingston Warming and Counselling Centre is funded by both the City of Kingston and Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health. The Centre is operated by a number of health and social service providers, including Home Base Housing, Kingston Community Health Centres, and Providence Care.

“This is a collaborative solution to a community issue. We’re proud to be funding the centre, but the real story is the hard work and close collaboration of the many agencies providing these critical services every night until April,” Ruth Noordegraaf, Director of Housing and Social Services for the City said in a statement.

The Warming and Counselling Centre opened earlier this month, and has already served about 90 people, according to the City of Kingston. The Centre is set up to not only provide immediate services, such as warming and counselling, but also to serve as an access point to other relevant services.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to provide immediate relief from the cold while providing longer-term solutions like counselling,” said Tom Greening, Executive Director of Home Base Housing. “For many, the centre may be an entry-point into a larger solution for sustainable housing.”

The entrance to the Kingston Warming and Counselling Centre is off of Wellington Street at the south end of the building at 235 Wellington Street, which also houses GoodLife Fitness and H’art Centre in other parts of the building. Counselling services are offered free of charge. The Kingston Warming and Counselling Centre can be reached at 613-561-4618 from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The entrance to the Kingston Warming and Counselling Centre on Wellington Street. Photo by Dominic Owens.

6 thoughts on “Warming and Counselling Centre opens in downtown Kingston

  • A much needed community service in the downtown core. Well done to all those involved.

  • I commend those involved who are responsible for getting this open and running.
    I feel so much relief that our homeless are being treated with some dignity.

  • A much needed bandaid to the housing crisis. Are there limits on who can use this space?

  • Only one of the benefits of having a strong and boisterous tenants’ organization in your City. Without Katarokwi Union of Tenants this wouldn’t have happened. It’s just a beginning of what we can accomplish if we commit to refusing to accept homelessness and poverty as inevitable.

  • So many thanks to the kind hearted people who initiated this project. Many homeless have chronic mental health issues- like a cousin of mine. There was so much ongoing closure of government funded spaces like the Kingston Psychiatric Hospital. It had recreational and occupational therapy spaces and companionship for residents. Was it perfect? No. Was it better? I worked at one and arranged recreation for the residents. They were not cowering alone in dark cold areas, they were bowling or doing crafts if they wanted. I know we need publicly funded humane solutions. I hope this is one of them.

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