Open Student Residences for Kingston Homeless People

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While housing and homelessness have long been a problem in Kingston, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that we urgently need to find solutions. Queen's University and St. Lawrence College residences should be that solution, offering free and safe housing to those seeking healthy accommodations during the COVID-19 situation. 

At present, homeless people, including women fleeing from abusive homes, must rely on shelters and warming centres that are simply not equipped to allow people to practice social distancing--attempts to space accommodations in existing facilities is not a real solution, and only excludes more people from shelter. If we are to prevent the spread of illness among our most vulnerable populations and the workers who interact with them every day, it is imperative that they be housed now! 

We must remember that both Queen's and SLC are publicly-funded institutions. Queen's alone has 4500 residence spaces. Both of these institutions should be invited to play their part in this public health crisis.

We, the undersigned, urge St. Lawrence College, Queen's University, and the City of Kingston to develop a plan to open up vacant student residences to Kingston's homeless populations.