In 1986, a working group consisting of community members, representatives of the local District Health Council and Queen’s University was formed to put together a proposal for a community health centre in north Kingston. North Kingston was defined as the area between Princess Street and Highway 401 and east of Leroy Grant Drive to the Cataraqui River with a population of approximately 24,000. The funding was approved in 1988, and North Kingston Community Health Centre (NKCHC) opened its doors in October 1988 with a staff of eight.
In 1992 NKCHC received funds to expand its focus on young children by sponsoring the Better Beginnings for Kingston Children program. It was a five-year research demonstration project to assess the long-term effects of early prevention and family/community support on the healthy development of children living in North Kingston. The funding was annualized in 1997. BBKC provides a full range of programs serving families living in North Kingston.
In early 2000, NKCHC seconded a nurse practitioner to a partnership project, Street Health Centre (SHC). Originally SHC started within an AIDS service organization as a health education outreach program. In 1990, the SHC evolved from an outreach program, to needle exchange, to methadone treatment, and ultimately, into a more comprehensive model in response to identified needs within the community. In 1992 “Keep Six”, a needle exchange program was established under the governance of the local health unit, and SHC moved under the governance of Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Health Unit. It became evident early in partnership with SHC that a CHC model was a better fit for the clients of SHC. In 2004, funding was approved for Street Health Centre to become a satellite of NKCHC.
Early in 2005 the Board completed a new strategic plan, which recognized the activities of the organization were no longer limited to North Kingston. This was especially true for the work done at systems level to effect change on determinants of health. At the same time each site focuses on specific populations and has a unique culture. The Board decided to change the corporate name to Kingston Community Health Centers on June 29, 2005. The Ontario Harm Reduction Program (OHRDP) and Immigrant Services Kingston Area were added to the KCHC in July and October of 2006. The Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) was added in 2009, and most recently the Pathways to Education (P2E) program in June 2010.