The Integrated Care Hub (ICH) is an essential part of the community, providing shelter, food, warmth, health care, and safe consumption space to vulnerable people. The ICH is currently under threat of closure by City Council but we need to preserve this vital resource.
The Katarokwi Union of Tenants stands with the ICH/CTS staff, and every community member who relies on their service for health, happiness, and dignity. We cannot and will not let City Council abandon their responsibility to the city's most vulnerable.
Please check the information below. Scroll to the bottom to send a letter to City Officials.
MEDIA & RESOURCES
2021 RAPID ASSESSMENT AND RESPONSE
COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT
INTEGRATED CARE HUB
CRISIS WATCH: KINGSTON
ePISODE 04, THE INTEGRATED CARE HUB
WITH SEBASTIAN VAILLANCOURT
Kingston's Integrated Care Hub: 'We need to keep the doors open'
DR. JANE PHILPOTT, Kingston Whig Standard
Kut sTATEMENT ON THE ich
KATAROKWI uNION OF tENANTS
PSAC 901 SUPPORTS THE ICH
PUBLIC SERVICE ALLIANCE OF CANADA LOCAL 901
PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS LETTER (OR WRITE YOUR OWN) AND EMAIL IT TO THE MAYOR AND YOUR WARD COUNCILLOR
CLICK HERE TO SEE YOUR COUNCILLOR AND WARD
We will not allow the Integrated Care Hub to close. As a member of the community you govern, I am proud of the work done by the ICH/CTS staff, which has made Kingston a provincial leader on drug and public health policy, especially impressive considering our size. From saving over 600 lives through overdose reversal, to feeding and sheltering over 400 people since opening, to the dignity and community it offers to those denied it elsewhere, the ICH/CTS is a shining example of everything a community can achieve in the face of harsh social conditions.
The people of Kingston are facing housing, homelessness, and overdose crises along with the ongoing pandemic. Now is the time to find financial flexibility, not make budgets the barrier to life-saving services. As members of Council have stated publicly, austerity does not work. We live in a community, not a balance sheet. You are elected by the people of your neighbourhoods, not the line items in your budgets. For this reason, we demand that you raise property taxes on Kingston’s richest in order to finance and expand the ICH/CTS’s services for Kingston’s most vulnerable.
At no point in City Council discussions has the topic of the cost efficiencies of the ICH/CTS been raised. As one example, the ICH/CTS saved Kingston’s hospitals $236,208 in 2021 by diverting 777 potential patients from the hospital system. Crying poverty without context like this is to forgo both your civic and financial due diligence to the people of Kingston. It does not take much investigation into connections like this to find that the City actually can’t afford to let the ICH/CTS close, rather than vice versa.
Our community is not negatively defined by the visibility of those struggling to survive; rather it is positively defined by the compassion and power we wield in alleviating those struggles. In this spirit, the people will pick up whatever responsibilities the City Council members attempt to rid themselves of. By choosing the more expensive, more dangerous, more cruel option of closing the ICH/CTS with no replacement services, you are causing more problems, not alleviating them. We will only become more vocal, more organized, and more visible, hand-in-hand with the very people facing the lethal consequences of your decisions.
We’ve watched the council meetings, and know that you all understand the inevitability of overdose deaths if the ICH/CTS closes. We will ensure that any death that occurs because of inaction on homelessness, drug addiction, and the overdose crisis is an election issue, to prove that you cannot wash your hands of your most vulnerable community members.
We need you to become ethical leaders by taking risks, and making decisions that save lives, to sustain Kingston as a leader on drug policy, unhoused care, and fighting the overdose crisis. The condition of our community is your legacy, and this decision is a vital point to prevent death, further homelessness, and intense suffering. Now is the time for bravery, using your power to protect those who need it, rather than bowing to an extremely loud but extremely small minority, weaponizing their hatred of these community members.
The people of Kingston