Kingston City Council approves sleeping cabins at Porstmouth Olympic Village

Council narrowly approved a community sleeping cabin initiative that saw the debate spill over from Tuesday to Wednesday evening.

The pilot passed 7-5 Wednesday night, with Councilors Osanic, Oosterhoff, Chapelle, Hill and Stroud dissenting.

The project, as well as a warming center, will be supported projects for this winter instead of housing individuals in hotel and motel rooms.

Council heard from several delegations on Tuesday evening, with some adjacent residents worrying about the location and lack of community consultation, while others recognized the urgent need for action as winter approaches.

The city will provide $ 257,000 towards the purchase of two cabins and to support the project organizer, Our Livable Solutions.

Chrystal Wilson, organizing member of Our Livable Solutions, said local churches and other community partners have been showing interest for months to help make this project a reality.

The city will work with Our Livable Solutions and the residents of Portsmouth to operate the Portsmouth Olympic Harbor cabins from December 2021 to April 2022.

As part of Wednesday’s resumption, council also approved an amendment tabled by Councilor Hutchison that would see a review of the integrated care center.

Mayor Paterson has expressed support for a proposal that would see $ 250,000 in municipal support for the ICH over the next three years, attributing much of Kingston’s unprecedented ability to reduce opioid-related deaths the year last in the awareness program.

“In 2020, Kingston was the only community in Ontario where its opioid death rate declined,” Paterson said.

“So I’m sure the ICH has something to do with it. ”

Some advisers strongly disagreed with ICP funding, saying it should be covered by provincial funding and not taxpayer dollars, but were canceled without a concrete back-up plan in place.

Some advocates say that despite the initiatives approved Wednesday night, the council is not doing enough.

Katarokwi Tenants Union General Secretary Ivan Stoiljkovic wrote a letter on Thursday saying the initiatives adopted should be accompanied by a motel and hotel plan, rather than choosing between them.

Stoiljkovic says in the letter that “there is money for all these things”, and says that the city should force the developers to “cede a percentage of their units to the state in order to house the homeless. shelter and precarious housing in social, public and rent-geared-to-income housing at this time.

The council also approved $ 300,000 to operate a warm-up and counseling center this winter.

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