Building a Community of People Helping People

Kingston’s Providence Motherhouse property to become Providence Village

From day care to long-term care and from mental health support to affordable housing, the Sisters of Providence shared their vision to build a nexus for the community’s vulnerable population.

The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul have a 200,000-square foot Motherhouse and a 30-acre property in Kingston. They also have a grand vision for better utilizing these large areas as the number of Sisters decline along with their need for space.

Hospice Kingston Concept Plan

Their vision is Providence Village.

“The whole idea is to establish a village that offers services for the vulnerable,” says Ruth Gruer, administrator and director of human resources for the Sisters of Providence and executive director of Providence Village Inc.

Honouring the Sisters’ tradition and mission of helping those who are vulnerable, Providence Village Inc. is helping to bring the Sisters’ vision to reality by creating a bustling, vibrant community on the property.

Establishing themselves in Kingston more than 150 years ago, the Sisters of Providence provided education in schools, hospital care, home care, started orphanages, offered long-term care and met the needs of the poor and the sick. “To this day, they are still known for that,” Ruth says.

Providence Village will build on their legacy.

In 2017, the board was established and Providence Village was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.

Providence Village has established a partnership and a lease agreement with Hospice Kingston. As Hospice Kingston prepares to construct a new building on the property, they will be the first tenant of Providence Village.

Meanwhile, Providence Care is planning to redevelop their long-term care facility called Providence Manor on Providence Village property. As the founders of Providence Care, the Sisters of Providence look forward to seeing this new facility being built so close to home.

In the Motherhouse itself, Providence Village will be leasing office space to mental health programs in the community, which will be consolidated onto the Providence Village property.

In addition, the local YMCA has expressed interest in building a new facility on the grounds at some point in the future.

Ruth Gruer, Executive Director, Providence Village Inc.

“Providence Village will be home to programs for the vulnerable, people of low-income, a hospice, a long-term care facility, mental health services and other programs.”

With the pressing community issue of low-income and affordable housing, Providence Village recognizes the tremendous opportunity to partner with a developer who could build affordable-housing units at the back of Providence Village.

“These are all really powerful ways that services can be provided on the grounds of Providence Village,” Ruth notes.

The property will remain Catholic property. Partners will be leasing the ground space or office space with Providence Village Inc managing the partnerships and the entire site.

On the grounds, there will be plenty of green space, community gardens and areas for such activities as music in the park.

“The vision is a community of people helping people.”

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