Representatives from the Governments of Canada and Ontario were in Kingston on Friday to celebrate officially breaking ground on the Homes for Heroes Kingston Veterans’ Village.
The project was initially announced in 2020 along with $200,000 in funding, with the provincial and federal governments later announcing they’d each be kicking in $2 million.
Homes For Heroes started the initiative in response to the growing number of military veterans who return to Canada and find themselves on the path to homelessness.
Kingston’s village will be the third in Canada, and the first in Ontario.
The village is located at 730 King Street West and will include 20 homes, a resource centre, social service offices, community gardens, and a community recreation space.
Home for Heroes Foundation CEO David Howard says since the announcement was made the team has been hard at work fundraising for the project and continuing to keep November 1, 2023 in mind for move in day.
“Our team has been working very hard over the last couple years to get a Veterans’ Village planned in the great city of Kingston. We are thrilled to begin construction and be one step closer to helping those that once stood on guard for Canada in Kingston and the surrounding area,” Howard said in a release.
“We want to thank all levels of government, our national and local funding partners, and our amazing local volunteer steering team for their dedication towards this project.”
Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen – on hand for the announcement along with MPP Ted Hsu and Mayor Bryan Paterson – said Friday’s announcement is another step in assuring housing for everyone.
“This project here in Kingston is yet another example of what can be achieved when we work together,” Gerretsen said.
“Through this collaboration with the city, we are helping to ensure that all people in Kingston and across our province have safe and affordable housing that enables them to thrive.”
Since opening villages in Calgary and Edmonton in 2019 and 2022 respectively, twenty-four veterans have graduated from the program.
20 veterans in the community are expected to move into their tiny homes as of November 1.