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Artillery Park shelter to open next week in Kingston

A vulnerable population services hub will be running at Artillery Park starting July 20 for the rest of the summer. Global News

A temporary services hub for Kingston’s most vulnerable populations is set to start next week.

The 24-hour drop-in centre will be located at Artillery Park and offer food, support and community to people in need in the city.

Read more: City of Kingston considers supportive housing options for Belle Park campers

The centre will be run by HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS) in partnership with Street Health Centre and is funded by the City of Kingston and United Way KFL&A.

The idea has been floating around for the last few weeks as a temporary solution for those living in a homeless camp at Belle Park, which has been steadfast throughout the summer during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Although Mayor Bryan Paterson talked about finding longer-term solutions to house those at Belle Park, where the homeless camp currently has an eviction date of July 31, he pointed to the Artillery Park shelter as an immediate solution where campers can access services they need.

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According to HARS, operations at the centre “will be informed by the pillars of harm reduction, trauma and violence-informed care, stabilization, wellness and cultural safety.”

Click to play video: 'Belle Park encampment extended to July 31' Belle Park encampment extended to July 31
Belle Park encampment extended to July 31 – Jul 8, 2020

“In addition, the project will place the lived experience of those we serve at the centre of the work by engaging with individuals experiencing homelessness, poverty, substance use and mental health challenges in the creation of programming and policies for the hub,” HARS said.

The centre is set to run from July 20 until Sept. 30.

More to come.

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