Portsmouth Harbour sleeping cabin fire victim still searching for a home

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Portsmouth Harbour sleep cabin fire victim still searching for a home
After a fire burned down three of the Portsmouth Harbour tiny homes, Joe Biron found himself homeless again, searching for a home for himself and his two dogs – Dec 20, 2022

Former resident of the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour sleeping cabins Joe Biron said he still loses sleep at night after a fire destroyed his tiny home.

The fire happened in early December and destroyed three of the small cabins that house some of Kingston’s unhoused people.

Biron and his two dogs, Maggie and Oliver, were able to escape without serious injury, but for Biron, the trauma remains.

Read more: 3 sleeping cabins damaged after fire overnight in Kingston, Ont.

“Now, that scares me because it’s … on my mind 24 hours a day,” he said.

The fire came just weeks after Biron broke four ribs in a car crash and now he has nowhere to go.

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Since the fire, he’s stayed on the street and at motels before finally finding space at Home Base Housing’s In From The Cold shelter, where he spends his days looking for somewhere to live.

Biron is a pensioner who makes enough money every month to afford somewhere safe to live with his dogs, but Home Base Housing’s Candace O’Neil says his situation is part of a broader problem that is more complicated than just money.

“It’s a story that we hear from every community: lack of affordable housing, lack of housing in general, lack of safe housing for individuals,” said O’Neil.

She added that there are a growing number of individuals who have at least some resources to pay for an apartment but there simply aren’t enough affordable spaces to go around.

“There are places that are reasonable, but, certainly, that may not be safe,” she said.

Read more: Sleeping cabins in Kingston, Ont. relocating to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour

Biron said he has difficulty doing the paperwork necessary to apply for most housing and that he is frequently in a long line of people who are looking for the same thing.

“We’re asking for help … and support…. That’s all we’re looking for,” said Biron.

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Even in his current situation, Biron said he remains hopeful that things will look up for him and his pups and he’ll find somewhere safe to call home soon.

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