Portable OutReach Care Hub launches in KFL&A

Mobile wraparound community care for people in KFL&A

Kingston, ON (July, 19 2022) – United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox &Addington and Kingston Community Health Centres, along with other community organizations are excited to announce the launch of the new Portable OutReach Care Hub (PORCH). The retrofitted mobile Recreational Vehicle (RV) seeks to provide mobile health and social service supports for vulnerable individuals in the community seeking wellness services.

PORCH has a counselling room, a group space, and a room for clinical care to support people who are otherwise not able to access medical and clinical support. PORCH will be used to provide wound-care, hepatitis C testing and treatment, sexual health care, harm reduction services, including naloxone kits, immunizations, addiction treatment and services and more.

“By offering mobile health and social services, PORCH is providing an innovative and flexible way to deliver a range of services to our most vulnerable residents,” said Mark Gerretsen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (Senate) and Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, on behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion. “The Government of Canada is proud to support this initiative in part through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.”

The idea for PORCH came from an identified need in the community for access to services, especially for individuals who are in vulnerable situations throughout KFL&A. 

“This is a great example of collaboration and innovation, providing programs to people where they are,” explained Bhavana Varma, President and CEO, United Way KFL&A. “People in vulnerable situations will have access to programs they may not otherwise  have been able to travel to – this is where PORCH comes in, to help fill that gap.”

PORCH is funded in part by Kingston Community Health Centres, through investments by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home program administered by United Way KFL&A and the Ministry of Health of Ontario.  A number of partners will be providing services through PORCH including, KFL&A Public Health, Family & Children’s Services, Addictions & Mental Health Services, Youth Diversion, in addition to Street Health Centre, KCHC. Services will expand to other areas and organizations as needed or as they can be provided in KFL&A.

“PORCH is about improving access to care for marginalized populations. The RV will enable partner organizations to connect with harder to reach populations, while working collaboratively to provide wraparound care for individuals, meeting them where they are, including in more rural areas,” said Meghan O’Leary, Director, Clinical Services, Kingston Community Health Centres. “We will provide services on a drop-in basis at scheduled locations, with the intension of low barrier access to health care and support services for individuals in vulnerable situations.”

The PORCH RV will launch on July 19, 2022 at the Street Health Centre and will be making appearances at local festivals and events throughout Kingston. Community members are invited to stop by the RV to learn more about the services provided. 

About PORCH

United Way KFL&A, Kingston Community Health Centres, and Addictions and Mental Health Services KFLA, along with other community organizations, came together to discuss the option of a mobile unit that could provide integrated services in the KFL&A community to people experiencing or who are at risk of homelessness. A Recreational Vehicle (RV) was secured in March of 2022 and in consultation with other community agencies, the RV was retrofitted to serve the needs of this project. The Portable 
OutReach Care Hub (PORCH) launched in July 2022 and will serve people throughout the KFL&A area.

PORCH is funded by Kingston Community Health Centres through Ministry of Health funding and funds from Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy administered through United Way KFL&A.