The initial idea for a refuge for abused women and children came from Kingston’s Women’s Centre. Judge George Thomson was approached by members of the Women’s Centre, and Ms. Anne Ferguson, an experienced student working for Judge Thomson, was asked to research the need for emergency housing in the city and to investigate the possibility for funding.
Ms. Ferguson sought letters of support for Kingston Interval House (KIH) from several community agencies/individuals and investigated the issue of domestic violence in Kingston.
KIH officially opened its doors on December 1, 1975 with funding supplied by a federal Local Initiatives Program grant. This funding came to an end on June 26, 1976, and an evaluation was completed in hope of obtaining United Way funding. Interval House also sought funds from a variety of sources, including service clubs, women’s groups, voluntary organizations, and individuals in Kingston.
For many years, KIH was funded by the City of Kingston, Kingston Township and Pittsburgh Township on a per diem basis for women and children using the Shelter. Currently, KIH is funded by the provincial Ministry of Community and Social Services, the United Way of Kingston and through one-time grants, membership fees, private donations, and fundraising.
Since opening, KIH has changed locations four times as the need for increased space. In July of 2004, the shelter in our present location was completed and can accommodate up to 30 women and children. KIH realized a dream of a facility that offers:
- separate rooms for each family
- a large living space, a fully assessable basement set up for games, exercise, and toys
- attached administration and outreach offices.
In July 2010, KIH announced the opening of our new Second Stage Housing project for women and children leaving our emergency shelter. Robin’s Hope Housing provides short-term, affordable, and supportive housing to women, children and youth for up to a period of one year. This new service is an extension to current services provided by KIH that include emergency shelter, outreach counselling and public education/awareness.