In­ter­val House plans to grow out­reach pro­grams

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - STEPH CROSIER scrosier@post­media.com twit­ter.com/StephattheWhig

Kingston In­ter­val House has re­leased its strate­gic plan for 2018 to 2021 with three di­rec­tives driv­ing one goal: growth.

“We want to grow our out­reach pro­grams, we want to grow and de­velop more safe and af­ford­able hous­ing, but in or­der to do that we re­ally do have to in­crease our re­sources and have a more sus­tain­able rev­enue base to be able do that,” Pam Hav­ery, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Kingston In­ter­val House, told the Whig-Stan­dard on Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

“We are funded by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment as well as some dol­lars from the United Way, and we’re very ap­pre­cia­tive of those dol­lars, but those dol­lars don’t cover the cost of do­ing busi­ness.”

On Thurs­day evening, Kingston In­ter­val House pre­sented its 2018-2021 Strate­gic Plan en­ti­tled “United in Ser­vice, Safety and Sus­tain­abil­ity,” prior to its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing at the Re­nais­sance Event Venue. The plan’s three direc­tions are to in­crease ser­vices for their clients, cre­ate more af­ford­able hous­ing, and to cre­ate a more sus­tain­able rev­enue base.

The plan was cre­ated af­ter a “360-de­gree re­view” of the agency, Hav­ery said. It asked all of its stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing its clients, how they thought the agency was do­ing and how it could do bet­ter. From there, the 43-year-old non-profit came up with its plan.

“No doubt, there have been chal­lenges over those years, as there are with lots of non-prof­its, but the Kingston In­ter­val House is in a re­ally good shape,” Hav­ery said. “That is why we feel it is a re­ally good time for us to move for­ward and grow as an agency and grow in a re­spect­ful way in terms of the de­mand.”

The de­mands of the women and fam­i­lies that they serve are con­stantly grow­ing and evolv­ing, but it all comes down to af­ford­able hous­ing, Hav­ery said.

“If women are go­ing to trans­fer out of an un­healthy and un­safe re­la­tion­ship, and start liv­ing with less vi­o­lence in their lives, they need to have their own af­ford­able, safe hous­ing,” Hav­ery said. “When that is so lim­ited, not only in our com­mu­nity but in our prov­ince, that does not en­able women to move for­ward in a pos­i­tive way.”

On Thurs­day, the City of Kingston and the United Way of Kingston, Fron­tenac, Len­nox and Ad­ding­ton re­leased the re­sults of their 2018 Ur­ban Kingston Point-In-Time Count and the County of Fron­tenac and Ru­ral Kingston enu­mer­a­tion. It found that in both the ur­ban and ru­ral counts, women and girls com­prised about one-half of the home­less pop­u­la­tion. Other Cana­dian com­mu­ni­ties re­ported that woman and girls typ­i­cally com­prise 25 per cent of the home­less pop­u­la­tion.

Hav­ery noted that those go­ing through its 18-apart­ment tran­si­tional home, Robin’s Hope, are thriv­ing and the ma­jor­ity do not re­quire any more of its ser­vices af­ter their year-long stay. She said that of­ten times it isn’t enough to give a woman an apart­ment, it is all of the ser­vices and sup­ports that go along with Robin’s Hope that make the dif­fer­ence. In­ter­val House wants to cre­ate more of those spa­ces for women.

None of th­ese goals are pos­si­ble with­out proper fund­ing, Hav­ery said. The Min­istry of Com­mu­nity and So­cial Ser­vice is its main fun­ders, fol­lowed by the United Way, and then fundrais­ing and do­na­tions make about 10 per cent of its in­come. Hav­ery hopes to change that with a sig­na­ture event.

“It all de­pends on fund­ing. We are def­i­nitely open to part­ner­ships in the com­mu­nity with ser­vice providers or ser­vice groups, we’re open to ex­pand­ing our hous­ing at the cur­rent lo­ca­tion but also build­ing new af­ford­able hous­ing,” Hav­ery said. “We do know we don’t need to ex­pand shel­ters. Shel­ters pro­vide a crit­i­cal ser­vice in the com­mu­nity, how­ever they aren’t the an­swer. Women and their chil­dren want their own homes.”

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