A Kingston man who has been struggling to find a home is getting a helping hand after a chance encounter.
When David McDonald’s scooter got flat in front of Kim Cormier’s house, she befriended him. Now, she is raising money to buy him a small house of her own.
“It will be placed right here on my property, right next to my shed,” Cormier said.
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McDonald’s has been in Kingston on and off since he was 19 years old; most of that time, he says he’s homeless.
“It’s hard to sleep when you’re homeless, because the city is after you,” he said.
Her stroke of bad luck with a flat tire in front of Cormier’s house led her to invite him to camp on her back deck, where she has been living ever since.
“David uses our plumbing, cooks with me in the kitchen. He showers on our premises in our one-bedroom house, so I’m just trying to help a man get off the street, ”Cormier said.
Still, the pair of friends hope to find a more weather-resistant housing solution during the winter. They are working to raise $ 18,000 to pay for the new McDonald’s house. So far, they have raised just over $ 1,800.
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Bob Roach, the field technician for EHT Hybrid, a Niagara Falls-based company that will build McDonald’s little house, said the housing crisis in Kingston is what brought him closer to housing advocates in the area to help.
“There are about 400 people on the streets here in Kingston and they have an immediate need for 80 homes, and if we can do it with the city, we can do it right away,” Roach said.
EHT Hybrid will also build homes for the Our Livable Solutions initiative, which hopes to build a community of tiny houses in Kingston based on a similar initiative in Kitchener called A Better Tent City.
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These houses would be meant for people like McDonald’s so they don’t have to rely on the kindness of strangers.
Still, at this time, McDonald is grateful for Cormier’s help and for all those who have already donated to the GoFundMe campaign.
He says the tiny house solution seems like a viable option to help people like him, who have been abandoned by many others.
“People like to turn a blind eye to the homeless situation. They just assume it’s me. ‘What did you do? You know you did something, ‘”he said.
As for Cormier, as a mortgage broker, she said the instinct to find a house for McDonald’s came naturally to her.
“This is just an extension of that,” he said.
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