Homebase: More than Emergency Housing in Kingston

HomeBase is launching an awareness campaign of its services. “The general public is not really aware of all we do at Home Base. We want to let everyone know the services that HomeBase provides" says Ed Smith, President of the Board of Directors.


We focus on housing for  

homeless individuals and families, preventing homelessness in the first place and  

supporting the vulnerably housed with our own supportive housing portfolio.” Ed  

Smith, President of the Board of Directors 

Kingston HomeBase Non-Profit Housing is a registered charity providing a range of  

services to end youth, adult and family homelessness.  

"We focus on housing for homeless individuals and families, preventing homelessness in the first place and supporting the vulnerably housed with our own supportive housing portfolio.”

Kingston HomeBase Non-Profit Housing is a registered charity providing a range of services to end youth, adult and family homelessness.  HomeBase's supportive housing services include 21 properties including houses, townhouses and apartment buildings where counselling staff work to help individuals stay housed and make connections with the broader community. This housing is also affordable and there are separate units available for both youth and adults. 

HomeBase's Housing Help Centre also helps individuals and families find the more affordable housing within the City. Services include help with paperwork and cutting through bureaucracy.  There is also access to phones, community voicemail, mail services and computers. Staff are able to help individuals and families who are in jeopardy of losing their housing and seeking appropriate housing solutions. Homebase also works with private sector landlords on providing available apartments. It also operates two emergency shelters: Lily’s Place for Families and the In From The Cold for single adults. Their shelters are “housing focused” meaning that staff are there to help people find permanent housing options as soon as possible.

HomeBase noted in a press release, however, that "this can be difficult given the rental market conditions and the limited financial resources that people have at their disposal."

Other services include the street outreach service that bring support and services directly to those living rough in our community no matter where they are. HomeBase works with other partner organizations who can bring other skill sets to the person as needed. Further, Homebase is the “backbone organization” for Kingston’s One Roof Youth Hub where there is the collaboration of many youth-serving organizations working together under ”One Roof.” Employment, mental health, recreation and life skills services, a drop-in and a whole host of other appropriate services are provided through the One Roof program. There are also dedicated staff who work with homeless youth coming into One Roof to house them within our supportive housing. 

“For many years, we have worked quietly in the background on providing needed services to support homeless persons and provide supportive and transitional housing and other services to keep people housed," says Tom Greening, Executive Director. "Our focus is always to get people the help they need to be able to get them housed in our supportive housing or elsewhere. Everyone who comes to us or we reach out to even if they are living rough is to help and support them with the end goal of getting them a roof over their heads. For many years, Kingston has been able to move things in the right direction in terms of reducing homelessness. Recently, we have seen that trend change for a variety of factors that are not intrinsic to just Kingston.” 

Homebase stated plainly that the difficult reality is there is not enough affordable and supportive housing and there is a desperate need to build new capacity. Its shelters are at capacity and there is not enough supportive housing for youth, families or single adults. HomeBase is, however stepping up in building the Kingston Youth Services Hub, a holistic and integrated campus with 48 new apartments for homeless youth.  Community members interested in supporting this project are encouraged to visit build484.ca.  The organization also seeks a new property to build more capacity to help families who find themselves homeless and in need of support.

“We don’t just provide emergency housing. HomeBase actually houses many formerly homeless individuals, youth and families," says Pierre Klein, Manager of Operations. "Our services work well. We focus on helping individuals get housed, stay housed and we work to build capacity so no one  needs to go without a roof over their heads.”