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Friday, March 1, 2024

Most of the homeless have left Belle Park – Kingston

City crews were again on Tuesday cleaning up the remains of the homeless encampment in Kingston’s Beale Park that has surrounded the Integrated Care Hub.


While many have been shifted to local shelters, some are not leaving.

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Kingston’s low-barrier shelter in spotlight after Integrated Care Hub eviction

At its height, Kingston’s Director of Licensing and Enforcement estimated that 60 to 70 people lived in Belle Park.

Estimates are down to seven or eight people on a permanent basis.

“Then we’ve got roughly an equal amount, and seven to eight or even more, which are in and out quite often,” says Curtis Smith, director of licensing and enforcement.

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Smith says that bylaw staff, along with outreach staff, are working with those on a daily basis to “promote them on their housing journey toward some sort of real housing.”

“At the very least, we have shelter locations available, we would love to take advantage of them,” he says.

But for some people, like a homeless camper named Curtis Smith, being outside is preferable to their experiences in the shelter system.

Read more:

The cost of dental care is proving to be a barrier for homeless individuals in Kingston, Ontario.

“I don’t have to worry about sleeping there and then emptying my pocket,” he says.

“It’s terrible, man.”

The director of licensing and enforcement says law officers and outreach workers will continue their work to build relationships with remaining campers and encourage them to take advantage of city services.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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