City of Kingston aims to open second temporary homeless shelter during COVID-19 pandemic

The City of Kingston confirms it’s working to open a second temporary shelter for the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the city, it will be located in the city’s west end, at the former Fairfield Retirement Home.

Bryan Patterson, the city’s mayor, posted a video on Twitter regarding the move.

“It’s very difficult to practice social distancing or to self isolate in one of the city’s existing homeless shelters,” he said, “so we’ve been working to find new spaces”.

A number of city vehicles as well as cleaning services have been on site, busy prepping the site.

Fairfield Manor has been vacant since it was forced to close in September 2018, following a number of concerns ranging from fire code violations to allegations of neglect of residents.

In July of 2019, the building was sold, but has remained vacant ever since.

Fairfield Manor is the second building the city has recently acquired to house those who are homeless. It is expected to open up as soon as possible.

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On March 22, the city relocated the Kingston Youth Shelter from Brock Street to 113 Lower Union Street, a larger space that provides those most vulnerable a place where they can practice social distancing or self-isolate.

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Coronavirus: Feed Nova Scotia adapting to provide support as number of calls on the rise

Feed Nova Scotia said Tuesday that they have seen an increase in the number of calls from food-insecure Nova Scotians, but also offers of support from the community looking to lend a hand during COVID-19.

“People recognize our most vulnerable neighbours are hurting and the days ahead will be tough for many,” said Feed Nova Scotia in a written statement.

In light of the growing need, the organization said they continue to provide support with some few changes and updates.

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For now, Feed Nova Scotia said their trucks are still on the road, distributing food to their agencies.

Moreover, food banks and meal programs are quickly adapting to keep supporting their communities.

“Some have set up drive-through service or started doing home delivery, just to name a couple examples,” the organization said.

In addition, to keep their regular operation running, Feed Nova Scotia said they’re working with the provincial government to look at additional ways to provide emergency hampers, knowing the need will continue to increase in the days ahead.

“We’ve placed our first bulk food order, with special funding from the province, and we’re working with retailers to access that food as soon as possible,” Feed Nova Scotia said.

“This contribution will help, but continued community support is critical to respond to this extraordinary situation in a sustainable way.”

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Halifax Regional Municipality to provide update on COVID-19 response

The Halifax Regional Municipality has shut down its parks, beaches, playgrounds, sports fields and trails as the provincial government declared a state of emergency on Sunday.

Premier Stephen McNeil said the declaration was made after large groups of people continued to gather in large numbers at beaches and parks without following proper social distance.

The new measures are “consistent” with Nova Scotia’s decision to close provincial parks and outdoor amenities, the HRM said in a Sunday afternoon press statement.

“Municipal staff are currently determining service level adjustments related to a provincial state of emergency, including Halifax Transit, and will issue announcements as decisions are confirmed,” it said.

On Tuesday, HRM announced it will provide an update regarding the municipality’s response to COVID-19 at 2:00 p.m. AT.

Remarks will be delivered by Mayor Mike Savage and CAO Jacques Dubé.

As of Monday, there are now 41 positive cases of the novel coronavirus in Nova Scotia.

-With files from Graeme Benjamin and Alexa MacLean

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