For immediate release:
Community partners in Kingston work together to open winter Warming and Drop-in Centre
United Way KFL&A, City of Kingston, Lionhearts Inc. and Kingston Street Mission partner to provide space and programs for community members in vulnerable situations
Kingston, ON (December 13, 2021) – As temperatures drop and winter arrives, there is a need to help provide respite from the cold, as well as services and support to local community members experiencing homelessness.
With the ever-changing pandemic situation, community partners have worked diligently to secure a suitable space for this need and are pleased to announce a Warming and Drop-in Centre will open on December 27.
“The rising cost of housing and food, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a growing mental health crisis all create a perfect storm of challenges for everyone in Kingston, but especially those who are unhoused,” said Travis Blackmore, Executive Director, Lionhearts Inc. “It is a privilege for us to continue serving during this difficult time and bring food and friendship to this much-needed space. We invite everyone to partner with us by volunteering, donating, or helping to redirect those in need to resources like this Centre throughout the coldest months of the year.”
The building that houses the Centre, 218 Concession Street, is owned by Jay Patry and will be leased by Lionhearts Inc. with funding provided by the United Way of KFL&A and City of Kingston. Meal service and operations begin December 27, 2021
“I have watched the demand for social services grow in our community year over year. As we headed into the winter season we were informed that our community needed a place to help people who are less fortunate,” says Patry. “With a week’s notice, we moved swiftly to secure a quality building and work with social organizations to help facilitate their mission. Jay Patry Enterprises is humbled to be part of such a significant and worthy cause.”
The project is collaborative with many agency partners utilizing the space. Lionhearts and Kingston Street Mission will begin this collaborative initiative with food service in the evenings until late at night.
The Warming Centre, through support from the City of Kingston, will operate in the same space and stay open until morning.
“If this COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it is that human life is precious,” said Marilyn McLean, Executive Director, Kingston Street Mission. “The Warming Centre is one way we can show those struggling with homelessness right now that they are valued as people, and that we understand the challenges they face especially in these winter months. We appreciate this opportunity to provide hope and warmth, something we all need in this difficult season.”
About United Way KFL&A
United Way Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington works closely with the community to ensure that people have the opportunity to reach their full potential and live with hope, dignity and a sense of belonging. This vision is realized by building on deep-rooted local community knowledge and relationships to empower people to make an impact.
Led by volunteers, driven by a small professional staff team, the United Way KFL&A provides inspiring opportunities for people to get involved and support issues they care about through volunteering, giving and being advocates for people who are in vulnerable situations.
Stay up to date by following our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and look for regular updates on our website at www.unitedwaykfla.ca
About Lionhearts Inc.
Driven by a deep desire to see all people living with human dignity, Lionhearts Inc. has been uniting people with practical acts of love since our founding in Kingston in 2014. The cornerstone of the operation is to collect large donations of food from very generous businesses and then deliver manageable quantities regularly to reinforce front-line organizations who are already doing amazing work in our cities. Poverty knows no social boundaries. Lionhearts Inc. serves every demographic including senior citizens, families, single parents, children, and people living with mental illness, connecting those who want to help with those who already know how to do it. Lionhearts Inc. is a registered charity. For more information visit their website www.lionhearts.ca
United Way KFL&A
Mandy Pasch, Manager, Marketing and Communications
United Way KFL&A
Lionhearts Inc. (information on the Centre’s operations)
Travis Blackmore, Executive Director
613- 539-3735, Travis.Blackmore@lionhearts.ca