City adds low barrier shelter options for people living in encampment

In recent months, the City of Kingston has made significant efforts and progress in adding more low barrier shelter options. The additions come as a result of engagement with encampment residents living in the area of Belle Park/ICH and collaboration with multiple organizations, in expectation of the people remaining in encampments, leaving over the next two weeks.   

“Ensuring there are more low barrier shelter options has led to fewer people residing in the encampment,” says Lanie Hurdle, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer.   

More than 50 spaces were added at new shelter locations in January and there are now spaces to accommodate different needs, including couples, women-only, people with pets, and a wide range of support services, including meals and mental health supports and storage where people can safely leave their belongings, plus some transit assistance so people can continue accessing Consumption Treatment and other important services. A low barrier shelter generally means requirements for entry are limited or minimal for the people who wish to stay there.  

Please see the full list of shelters and drop-in services in Kingston below.

Even though there has been a migration from the encampment into low barrier shelters, the system still has capacity to serve more people. City staff and partners will work on facilitating the relocation of remaining encampment residents, as previously directed by City Council, a motion approved at the January 10, 2023 council meeting.   

The City’s approach continues to be one of empathy, taking into consideration the complexity of needs for all those involved, not just for those currently staying in the encampment but for near neighbours and the community overall.   

For the past few years, community-wide partners have worked in conjunction with outreach staff and service providers to conduct ongoing needs assessments so people camping in public spaces can gain access to safer and healthier alternatives, including support services and shelter, with the ultimate goal of establishing a transition plan to secure permanent housing.  

The City is working in accordance with the January 27, 2023, Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision related to homeless encampments in Ontario. In the Regional Municipality of Waterloo v. Persons Unknown and to be Ascertained, the Court denied the municipality’s application for injunctive relief to clear a homeless encampment. The Court noted in its reasoning that municipalities must not only create an adequate number of shelter spaces, but they must also create spaces that are truly low barrier and accessible based on the diverse needs of those living in encampments. The City of Kingston offers a variety of low barrier and accessible shelter options that are informed by its ongoing engagement with the encampment residents.  

“This continues to be a complex issue that requires a multi-level government response and a more coordinated humane approach, including Provincial health care investment to address the complexity of mental health and addictions needs,” says Kingston’s Mayor, Bryan Paterson. “Without that critical component, people aren’t getting the right support they need to live more sustainable lives,” he says.    

The City remains committed to addressing the homelessness crisis. As the Service Manager for housing and homelessness programs for Kingston and Frontenac area, the City operates under a Housing First model that delivers a framework to offer more intensive supports. The housing-first approach provides access to permanent housing with supports that assists individuals in obtaining and retaining housing.   

The City has leveraged municipal, provincial and federal funding to create more than 490 affordable rental housing units and continues to work with partners to create new affordable units and congregate living facilities through the Rapid Housing Initiative funding. This federal investment has supported the creation of 21 new rental units and 26 new transitional housing beds in congregate living facilities, for a total of 47 new affordable units with an estimated minimum of 25 new units still to come.  
Visit the City’s website for more information about Housing & Homelessness.   

Emergency Shelters   

Adelaide Drop-In   

  • 38 Cowdy St.  
  • Drop-in every night from 9 p.m. – 9 a.m.   
  • Overnight, adult coed drop-in with 36-40 spaces available on a first come, first served basis. Space for couples and survival partners.  
  • Phone: 613-483-8580   

Concession St. Centre   

  • 218 Concession St. 
  • Drop-in every night from 8 – 11 p.m.   
  • Overnight adult coed drop-in with 25 spaces, open 9 p.m. – 9 a.m. on a first come, first served basis. Space for couples and survival partners. Pets permitted.  
  • Phone: 613-542-6672 ext. 310  

In From the Cold Emergency Shelter   

  • 540 Montreal St. 
  • Open 24/7  
  • Adult coed shelter with 22 beds available on a first come, first served basis. Storage for personal belongings available based on capacity. Pets permitted (must be leashed or crated and depends on pet behaviour).  
  • Phone: 613-542-6672 ext. 2  

Kingston Youth Shelter  

  • MacGillivray Brown Hall, 218 Barrie St. – Temporary location until April 2023  
  • Open every night from 8 p.m. – 9 a.m.  
  • Overnight shelter for youths aged 16-24 with 19 beds on a first come, first served basis.
  • Phone: 613-549-4236  

Lily’s Place   

  • 333 Kingscourt Ave.   
  • Open 24/7  
  • Shelter for families with children with 19 beds on a first come, first served basis and access to motels as required.   
  • Phone: 613-542-6672 ext. 3  

St. Mary’s Drop-In Centre   

  • 260 Brock St.  
  • Open 1 − 4 p.m. Monday to Friday with services for coed adults. Overnight drop-in services for men with 12 spaces available is open 9 p.m. – 8 a.m. on a first come, first served basis.   
  • Phone: 613-546-5521 ext. 3  


Drop-In Services  

Integrated Care Hub   

  • 661 Montreal St.   
  • Open 24/7  
  • Drop-in services and support including harm reduction supplies, meals, referral supports, adult coed overnight drop-in. Space for couples and survival partners. Storage for personal belongings available based on capacity. Pets permitted.  
  • Phone: 613-329-6417  

Salvation Army Drop-In   

  • 342 Patrick St. 
  • Daytime services from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday. Closed noon – 1 p.m. with services for adults and youth.   
  • Phone: 613-548-4411  

One Roof Youth Drop-In Daytime Services   

  • 620 Princess St.
  • Open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday  
  • Phone: 613-542-6672  


Transitional Housing   

Dawn House   

  • Specialized transitional housing for women. Pets permitted.  
  • Phone: 613-545-9640 to check availability  

Interval House   

  • 24/7 Crisis Line and emergency shelter for women and children leaving abusive situations.   
  • Phone: 613-354-1010 to check availability  

Tipi Moza  

  • Indigenous supportive housing.  
  • Phone: 613-547-1134 to check availability  


  • Transitional housing for men.   
  • Phone: 613-548-8466 to check availability  

The City’s Housing & Social Services office at 362 Montreal St. has additional secure storage available. Individuals can then store a totes bin on site and access their belongings during agreed upon hours. Items can be stored for up to 60 days and longer if a client contacts the City to extend this time.    

All locations have staff who can coordinate referrals to a variety of supports, including housing services and more. Home Base Housing's Street Outreach Team regularly checks on known individuals experiencing homelessness. If you are experiencing homelessness or are concerned about a person in need of help, please call 613-542-6672 ext. 130. If you or someone you know is in distress, please call the Addiction and Mental Health - KFLA 24/7 Crisis Line: 613-544-4229 or 1-866-616-6005. If it is an emergency, please call 911.