Construction of a $140-million state-of-the-art adult transitional centre in downtown Kingston for homeless persons is projected for completion by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is spearheading the project, which is expected to provide temporary shelter for just over 100 persons living on the streets of the Corporate Area.
It is also intended to facilitate their reintegration into the society, through treatment and other interventions.
The facility, being built at 163-167 King Street, will be managed and operated by the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC).
Local Economic Development Officer at the KSAMC, David Wright, said that the centre will address the need for adequate accommodation for homeless individuals.
He was speaking during Tuesday’s (January 14) media launch of the 2020 renewal of the Kingston City Run at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston
Wright said it is against this background that the KSAMC is supporting the ‘Fast-Track Cities’ initiative, which targets the relocation of homeless persons or individuals with illnesses who have been abandoned by their families.
“We are doing that with the Ministry of Health and Wellness [and] the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to get more rooms and more bedding available for homeless persons. We are doing practical things to get homeless persons relocated and transitioned back into homes… back into work… and reintegrated into society,” Mr. Wright added.
He pointed out that this engagement is consistent with the partnership forged between the Health Ministry and KSAMC in late 2019, to take persons with mental issues off the streets.
Wright also informed that another project – renovation of the Ward Theatre in downtown Kingston – is targeted for completion in 2020.
“Just last week, we completed the ground floor… putting in new seats. The project has come a long way,” he pointed out, adding that the KSAMC has also been spearheading upgrading of several parks across Kingston and St. Andrew.
The eighth annual Kingston City Marathon comprises a 5K, 10K, half marathon and a full marathon, which will be staged at Emancipation Park over the weekend of March 13 to 15.