Ending chronic homelessness in Kingston by 2023 is the goal of the City of Kingston’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan approved by Council in December 2013. On National Housing Day, Nov. 22, the City is inviting residents to join the conversation on social media about housing and homelessness, and share what “home” means to them.
“Everyone should have a place to call home,” says Lanie Hurdle, Commissioner of Community Services. “The housing-first approach is proven to end chronic and episodic homelessness. It gives us a framework to offer more intensive supports to residents who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”
Residents may send a photo with a simple message about what “home” means to them. Images will be shared on the City’s Twitter (@CityofKingston) and Facebook (The City of Kingston) accounts as well as the City’s website.
Social equity and economic health are two of the four pillars of the Sustainable Kingston Plan – the community-built plan to become the most sustainable city in Canada. The housing-first approach provides access to permanent housing with supports that help individuals obtain and retain housing. This approach has been shown to enhance social inclusion, community integration and self-sufficiency among individuals and families who are homeless.
“We commend the City of Kingston on their leadership in working with the community to end homelessness in Kingston,” says Bhavana Varma, CEO of United Way KFLA. “We know that many people in Kingston struggle to have stable, secure permanent housing. This plan will help prevent, reduce and eventually end homelessness.”
The City and its partner agencies and service providers are now aligning practices with the housing-first methodology. The recommendations related to a housing first approach are outlined in the 10-Year Municipal Housing and Homelessness Plan.