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New community family resource program opened in Kingston, Ont. – Kingston

Parents, children and staff members gathered Saturday at the Kingston Commmunity Health Centres for the grand opening of a new family support program.

Families with children either on the way or up to age six rejoiced as officials pulled back the curtain on its new program, dubbed “a great start for families,” or Kahwà:tsire Ronwatiyenawá:se in Mohawk.

“We wanted to make a holistic, community collaboration. There’s already about 40 service providers coming in and out,” said Lousanne Rode, a manager at Family and Children’s Services.

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The program is an initiative supported by the City of Kingston, the United Way KFL&A and Family and Children’s Services.

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It’s designed to provide parents access to all the services they may need, while also giving their children a safe place to learn and play nearby with kids their own age.

“We have medical, we have social, we have educational services, we have employment services, we have financial, like Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program,” added Rode.

Bonnie Robinson is a mother of an active four-year-old named Ben.

She said she is excited about the program.

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“Oh, it’s fantastic, it’s like a one-stop shop and you can go in and there’s really lovely people working here and it’s a wonderful space for kids to have a space to run and play, and talk to the people that you need to talk to,” said Robinson.

Rode says that, along with what they already have in place, they’re looking forward to receiving feedback from families and clients in order to grow and adjust the program to the needs of the people that it serves.

She said that the overarching goal of the program is to bring families from surviving to thriving.

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