Re-Open Shelter Space in Kingston, Ontario

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Kingston City Council and Mayor,

We, the undersigned, wish to make it known that we feel the city has erred in closing so many shelter beds thus far in the 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan. While we agree in principle that priority should be placed on building housing and reducing the need for shelters, we believe that the shelters should not be closed until it has been reliably demonstrated that the need has been eliminated. We further note that:

a)     The Point In Time Surveys commissioned by the city have not indicated a reduction in the number of unsheltered homeless people in Kingston, and

b)    The number of households on the wait list for housing has increased by several hundred since the beginning of the plan.

We therefore petition the city of Kingston to open another shelter. This shelter should:

1)    Contain no fewer than 20 beds.

2)    Not be run by Home Base Housing (this is not a criticism of Home Base Housing, but a belief that multiple providers means a more comprehensive framework).

3)    Be in operation for at least two years, and not close until the wait list for housing falls below 1000 households.