In October the sleeping cabins completed their biannual movie, but according to Mayor of Kingston Bryan Paterson, that move will probably be the program’s last.
“I think what most council agreed is that we’re in a very different place now than we were a couple of years ago”
Council voted 10-2 in favour of ending funding to the program, and while Kingscourt-Rideau councillor, Brandon Tozzo was one of the votes in opposition, he understands the reasoning.
“The results of it were quite mixed. Out of the 35 residents who had been part of the program, only six transitioned fully out of homelessness”
In addition, he added, the program was quite expensive, costing the a little under two million dollars since it began. But despite all of this, Tozzo still believes it is more humane, and cheaper, than the alternative.
“The sleeping cabins were expensive, but what’s more expensive is people falling back into homelessness. It’s more burden on taxpayers to have an unhoused person using emergency services”
As for what comes next for the residents and the cabins themselves, Paterson says staff are going to be reporting back to council in the spring with a transition plan.
“That transition plan will include not only what the plans are for the residents of the current residents of the sleeping cabin program, but also options and ideas for how the cabins can continue to be used.”
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