Today’s Northumberland took a trip to Kingston recently.
Last Tuesday, Kingston council voted to end The Sleeping Cabin Pilot Project at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour that had 17 sleeping cabins.
A CBC story said that staff are supported to come back to council with a plan by the end of March on how to deal with the issue.
The project started in January 2022 with an initial investment of $407,000 from the city, followed by two other contributions of $250,00 and $394,000 according to CBC.
The city further committed to provide $336,000 in operational funding each year, starting in 2023.
Ten council members voted to end The Sleeping Cabin Pilot Project with two councillors dissenting.
Thirty-five people have participated in The Sleeping Cabin Pilot Project since it began.
Of those, CBC states, three have moved into supportive housing, one into transitional housing, two into a stabilization program operated by Addictions and Mental Health Services and one person moved into housing they found on their own.
Two residents died in their cabins from underlying health conditions, one person ended up in a detention centre and four left voluntarily to return to homelessness.
With Cobourg Council having dealt with the Sleeping Cabins and now Port Hope making it’s decision, Today’s Northumberland went down to interview three of the people involved.
Ryan Boehme was first elected to Kingston council in 2014.
Boehme was born in Kingston, married and is proud to raise his family in his hometown.
Boehme said he originally supported the idea of The Sleeping Cabin Pilot Project, but doesn’t anymore.
Chrystal Wilson Acting Executive Director of Our Livable Solutions which runs The Sleeping Cabin Pilot Project at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. Wilson said the cabins change locations between the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour and the Centre 70 arena due to seasonal activities at each locations.
Marsha Wiggins has been a resident at sleeping cabin for over one year. Wiggins said before The Sleeping Cabin Pilot Project, she lived in the woods and speaking candidly with Today’s Northumberland, it looks like she may be headed back to the woods with the project ending.
Today’s Northumberland wanted to get a fresh view of what was taking place in Kingston.
Would it work in this area?
Talk to both sides and get what worked – and what didn’t.
To ask questions that could pertain to any area regarding a project to help those in need.
I/we encourage the reader to watch the video, listen to the video and decide for themselves if it would be beneficial.
More must be done to help – but where do we draw the line. How can you help people that may not want help?
Thank you to Councillor Ryan Boehme, Chrystal Wilson and Marsha Wiggins for taking part.