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Sleeping cabins at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site are now being used

Click to play video: 'Sleeping cabins at Kingston’s Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site are now being used.' Sleeping cabins at Kingston’s Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site are now being used.
WATCH: Five of the six tiny homes to shelter the homeless at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site in Kingston will be occupied by the end of the day – Jan 17, 2022

The sleeping cabins at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour are now being used, with five of the six tiny homes ready to shelter members of Kingston’s unhoused community.

With heavy snowfall and cold weather across the region, having a roof over your head becomes essential.

“Really if you think about it, we went from zero to having a place for people to call home in two months,” says housing advocate Chrystal Wilson. “And, especially for this city, that’s pretty amazing.”

Wilson says this pilot project couldn’t happen without plenty of help.

Read more: Kingston homeless calling for 24/7 warming centres

“The volunteer effort in this project has been absolutely phenomenal,” she says. “We have a couple of great volunteers…who’ve put a call out to all of their friends and family and got all of the cabins sponsored and furnished.”

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John Tuinstra is one of the volunteers working to get the cabins up and running.

“I’ve been homeless myself,” he says. “I know what it’s all about, I know what it’s like to be there and to build yourself back up and to get yourself back into the ‘real world’…I just enjoy helping out people, really I do.”

It’s not just the volunteers that are being singled out, Wilson says city and harbour site staff have done their share to breathe new life into the surroundings.

Read more: Winter snow storm cancels school in Kingston and area Monday

The cabins are now being used, with half of the 10 set to be filled by Monday night.

“By the end of the day we’ll have five,” Wilson says. “We have two people checked in, a third is waiting to be checked in, one’s on his way down and Street Outreach is trying to find the fifth one.”

Wilson says the final four of the 10 cabins could be in town by Thursday.

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