An online meet-and-greet and Q&A was held Tuesday night regarding the proposed summer location for the sleeping cabin pilot program in Kingston’s west end at Centre 70.
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“The recommendation from staff to council next week will be that we look at Centre 70 for a May to end of September summer location,” says Ruth Noordegraaf, Kingston’s director of housing and social services.
“After that, we recommend that the pilot will go back to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour,” she continues. “And we will also look at a more longer term, permanent, sustainable location. Because, ultimately, we obviously don’t want to continue to move these cabins around, for many reasons.”
City staff, advocacy group Our Livable Solutions, and cabin representatives answered community questions pertaining to security, transportation and accessibility among the subjects.
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“By stabilizing people in the cabins, we’ve been able to increase their ability to attend appointments and actually have a lot of support workers access on-site,” says Chrystal Wilson, executive director of Our Livable Solutions.
Centre 70 is also located next to a community garden, something particularly exciting to cabin resident Marsha Wiggins.
“That’s one of my top five things that I miss about having a place, is having my own garden,” Wiggins says. “I just think it’s good to have a garden up there and I would like to join the garden community.”
A representative from the Lakeside Community Garden was on the call to show her support. “There is certainly going to be volunteer, definitely volunteer opportunities, to help around the garden,” she said.
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The meeting saw support from many Lakeside community members in welcoming the cabins to Centre 70.
The next step will see city staff make its recommendation to city council on May 17.
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