SOUL FOOD SPOTLIGHT DAY 5: Kingston Youth Shelter

Youth Shelter Title

Queens Soul Food provides hot, ready-to-eat food to both our locations: Kingston Youth Shelter (234 Brock Street) and Kingston Youth Transitions (212 Yonge Street).

In Kingston and area, 1 in 3 homeless persons is a youth. Each year, we offer assistance to approximately 200 youth between the ages of 16-24. Youth who arrive at our doorstep come from all walks of life. There are many factors that may lead to youth homelessness such as: poverty, trauma, abuse, oppression, immigration, mental health, (dis)ability, addictions, or conflict with the law. Our agency provides youth with the acceptance, empathy, and support that they need in order to transition successfully into young adulthood.

Our youth really look forward to the nightly delivery of these delicious meals. We are so grateful for your support – thank you so much Soul Food!

Krystal O’Farrell
Kingston Youth Shelter

The youth shelter had a recent fire that unfortunately closed down their operations. They will hopefully be reopening soon! For more information on the fire and how you can support the youth shelter, please check out the links below.

Station14’s Media Release:

GoFundMe for Fire Relief:


Facebook Page:


Queen’s Soul Food Executive Hiring 2016-2017


Queen’s Soul Food is looking for passionate people to join its Executive Team for 2016-2017!

Queen’s Soul Food is a club that seeks to promote awareness surrounding poverty & food insecurity in Kingston and surrounding areas. It’s main initiative is collecting the unconsumed food from the on-campus cafeterias and delivering it to shelters in the area. If this sounds like a club for you then check out the application for more details!

Some of the positions include: Logistics Officers, Marketing & Events Coordinators, CFO, and more!

Application available here: Soul-Food-exec-application OFFICIAL

Looking forward to hearing from you!

SOUL FOOD SPOTLIGHT DAY 4: In From the Cold Emergency Shelter

Opened in 2000 as a seasonal, overflow shelter for other shelters, it began nightly operations in 2004 as a response to the demand for services.  Located in the low-ceiling, cramped basement of a converted church, it originally had a bed capacity for 24 people.  Thanks to CorCan (Corrections Canada), we purchased 9 bunk beds for the first 18 people who booked their beds.  Mattresses on the floor were provided for anyone after the bunk beds were booked.

In 2014, the shelter and the Housing Help Centre moved to its current location at 540 Montreal St. to join Home Base Housing’s Administrative and Supportive Housing offices.  The new shelter space provides a spacious “living room” space, a larger kitchen area, two bathrooms (including a handicapped facility) and two walk-in showers.  The shelter staff were initially concerned about the impact of the move on the regular clients; however, the executive director received the following note the morning after the first night from the staff:  We admit that we had a lot of trepidation about moving.  Change is hard, we didn’t know what to expect.  We watched as our clients entered this new space tonight.  It was magical to share their excitement – after years in the crowded basement at 426 Barrie St., it was like we had arrived in a new world.  At first people were in awe and maybe a bit overwhelmed.  But that was quickly followed by a wonderful calm content – that this time in their lives, a time of struggle and uncertainty, did not define what they are worth.  We think there was a realization that this agency respects them as people, deserving of a place like this, because they are worth it.  Although 540 Montreal St., is just a “building”, we felt like we were a part of restoring hope and dignity to people tonight.”

As of July 1, 2015, the shelter increased its capacity to 29 beds in response to the City of Kingston’s 10-year Housing & Homelessness Plan.  In addition, the City awarded Home Base Housing the contract for providing the Housing First program and services to clients staying in our and other shelters.  Clients are assessed for the level of need and referred to case management services dependent on the assessment.  The principle of Housing First is that individuals who experience chronic homelessness are assisted to secure housing first and then obtain support services appropriate to their needs.

In From the Cold Emergency provides an evening meal and breakfast before clients leaving in the morning.  The shelter opens as a drop-in for homeless individuals at 2 p.m. weekdays and at 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays until 5 p.m.  During that time, homeless individuals can make use of the shower facilities.   Shelter clients can sign in for beds during drop-in hours or by 6 p.m. each night.  Throughout the night, the staff do the clients’ laundry when requested to do so.

The shelter is fortunate to receive donations from a variety of sources.  Particularly throughout the winter months, a multitude of socks, hats, mitts/gloves, comfy pants and a wealth of toiletries are donated for the shelter clients.  On a regular basis, the shelter receives supplementary food from Queen’s Soul Food as well as other food donations from faith groups.


The Ryandale Mission:

Ryandale Shelter is the only shelter in Kingston providing 24/7 emergency accommodation and support to men, women, and families with children, all under the same roof.

Our 15-bed shelter and 7-bed supportive housing facility ensure safe accommodation and access to essential support services for people struggling with the economic, social and often emotional challenges of homelessness.

Beyond the provision of a warm place to sleep, Ryandale Shelter works to build greater social inclusion and a renewed sense of hope in our residents.

Guiding Values & Goals:

Ryandale Shelter recognizes that it alone cannot solve the housing and homelessness crisis in Kingston. By offering emergency shelter in a welcoming and supportive environment -working with community partners such as the United Way- Ryandale Shelter seeks to create a local reality in which the basic needs and rights of every person are met.

Shelter, food, safety, and human dignity are our primary concerns, along with providing information about community resources that can help residents establish more stable and secure lives for themselves.

We believe that a socially inclusive and vibrant community embraces the challenges of homelessness head on, offering compassion and shelter as a foundation for people to begin addressing their other needs, such as long-term housing, employment, education and counseling.



Nightlight is a drop-in center for adults in the Kingston community open three nights a week from 6PM – 9PM. It’s structured like a cafe, and it’s located near the top of Princess street right before the 663 apartment complex. All are welcome to stop in for however long they wish, and coming doesn’t mean you need to be a “volunteer”. Its vision is based on the humble and loving example that Jesus walked on Earth, reaching out to the marginalized within the community, meeting people where they are at, without the restriction of societal expectations and barriers. It’s completely free to all guests; we serve coffee/tea/juice and the occasional snack (often from donations), fostering a relaxed environment to chat, play board/card games, puzzles, jam out, or even colour. I started going to nightlight four years ago and have fallen in love with its vision and community ever since. This isn’t a place where you come with the intent to offer a service or charity to others; it’s a place where you walk in friendship with others as they walk with you. You learn and gain as much as you seek to provide support to others. It’s about removing an “us versus them” mentality. It’s a safe place to get to know people struggling with a range of things, people who may typically be judged for their addictions, disabilities or mental illnesses, and to care for them on a deeper level. These relationships are personal and this community is like family. It all depends on how much you’re willing to let down your own walls and be vulnerable. Feel free to come check it out if you’re ever passing by

Stephanie Liew