Diocese of Ontario 3 Adelaide project update

In 2015, the Diocese of Ontario struck a partnership with the Kingston chapter of Habitat for Humanity to build three duplex homes and a ministry centre on the site of the former Church of the Good Shepherd at the corner of Cowdy and Adelaide streets in Kingston.

The project was the result of a study conducted by PHD students from the Queen’s School of Urban Planning. The goal of the study was to determine community needs within the inner harbour area of Kingston and how the Diocese of Ontario might form wider partnerships within the community to address those needs. Now with the ministry centre completed, the next steps are to determine the best way to use it as an outreach hub for the local community.

Enter Carrie Anne Marshall, an assistant professor in occupational therapy at Western University and the lead researcher for a pilot project entitled ‘Transition from Homelessness.’ Having secured $730,000 in funding from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Kingston and London will serve as the locations for a 12 month pilot project called ‘Peer to Community (P2C)’ that will aid in providing supports for people following homelessness.

“Carrie Anne has brought together a whole series of community partners in Kingston and in London ON to plan for this pilot project” says Bishop Michael Oulton, who is excited about the project and how the diocese can be a part of it. “When people go from homelessness into permanent housing, they often lose the community supports and networks they benefited from when they were homeless” says Bishop Michael. “This project will continue to support people with assistance once they are housed with the intention of breaking the cycle of a return to homelessness.”

A proposal to the diocese was made in early February to investigate the use of the 3 Adelaide St. Ministry Centre to serve as a dedicated community space for the project in Kingston. “The space will be used for people to connect with peers and peer support workers when needed” says Bishop Michael. Bishop Michael sees this project as an opportunity that will not only impact the City of Kingston and the Diocese of Ontario but one that also has the potential to be a model that can be replicated across the country. “Here's an opportunity to be in on the ground floor of a project that has the potential to be a game changer in a comprehensive strategy to tackle the problem of homelessness. This is about building community, it's about building relationships” he says. “I think it will be an amazing legacy for the people who are part of the Church of the Good Shepherd who will continue to worship there on Sunday mornings.”