Kingston's homeless hub seeing high demand

image (13)

Kingston's homeless hub is seeing high demand, with the city's drop-in centre for homeless people at capacity over the past two weeks. 

At a city council meeting Tuesday night, Gilles Charette, executive director of HIV/AIDS regional services, said the integrated care hub at Artillery Park Aquatic Centre has been helping the city's homeless population. 

After beginning around-the-clock operations on July 31, the centre has seen about 250 visits a day. A new drug consumption and treatment centre at the site also had 132 visits. 

"It's been an exciting and challenging month. We've learned a lot," Charette said to council "Where the hub model really shines is how it bring together community partners on one site to bring services to the people we serve."

At the centre, sleeping pods are available on a first-come first-served basis. The pods have been full each night for the past two weeks. 
 
This comes just days after roughly a dozen campers at Belle Park were evicted from their homeless encampment, which they had been at since April. Williamsville District councillor Jim Neill raised the concern that demand for services is now likely to increase with the closure of the encampment, though no clear response was given.

-- From News Talk 580 CFRA's Samantha Pope