Kingston council to consider extending shelter funding

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KINGSTON — City council is to consider a plan next week to spend more than $1.5 million to fund the Integrated Care Hub (ICH) and the consumption treatment site until the end of the year.

The facility opened last summer at the Artillery Park Aquatic Centre before moving to its current Montreal Street site in November.

It provides overnight shelter and around-the-clock access to addiction, homelessness and mental health counselling services.

“There is no question that services at the ICH have been and continue to be utilized by a large number of people and that the ICH has filled a gap in the community,” chief administrative office Lanie Hurdle wrote in a report to city council.

“Based on the data collected, staff believe that in the absence of a service like the ICH, there would be a significant increase in overdoses, hospital visits, people sleeping in the rough and possibly an additional shelter required to meet the demand on vulnerable populations.”


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Since the Montreal Street location opened, about 178 people have stayed overnight at the centre and almost 2,200 people used the rest zone.

About 107 people used the consumption treatment site more than 3,200 times since it opened at the new location.

City staff are recommending the continued operation of the centre be funded by more than $457,000 remaining in the social services relief funding and $1.1 million from the social services stabilization reserve.

Additional funding could come from partner agencies, including the HIV/AIDS Regional Services, the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Adndignton and Kingston Community Health Centres.

The city is also lobbying the provincial government to provide more stable funding for the facility.

“It has become apparent that the challenges faced by the most marginalized individuals using the ICH are not primarily related to housing or lack thereof,” Hurdle wrote. “There is a major medical component of work that needs to be addressed in order to assist individuals in living and thriving in housing.”

City council is to consider the plan at its Tuesday night meeting.

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