County Budget Highlights Homelessness Prevention Efforts

Over Half of County Request Committed to Social and Community Services

The County of Simcoe was in front of Barrie Council with a $22 million ask, with a good portion going towards the fight against homelessness across the region.

At about $11,696,000, over half the budget goes towards supporting social and community services across the region, under four specific umbrellas.

Ontario Works, hoping for about $3 million from the city, covers Income and Employment Supports, Addiction Services, Housing Retention, and Emergency Social Services too.

The Children and Community Services has just over $2.3 million budgeted to help, among other things, with youth homelessness prevention and poverty reduction.

The Simcoe County Housing Corporation, which oversees social housing and assists residents find homes is this year hoping for $1.5 million, a slight reduction from last year, by less than $100,000.

Related: Barrie Police, Library Offset Budget Bottom Line With Grants

The budget also asks for $4.7 million to go towards the Non-Profit Social Housing providers of Simcoe County, financing investments in Affordable Housing across the county, along with the 10-year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy.

Monday night’s budget presentation also detailed the financing of the County Paramedic Services, to which $6.2 million is budgeted. Long Term Care and Senior Services comes in at under a million dollars, while the City of Barrie is also being asked to commit $47,000 to the County Archives and $62,000 to the Museum.

A snapshot of call volumes shows Barrie made up about 34% of all calls to County paramedics over the past five years

The 2019 budget is just over $1.5 million more than last year’s $20.5 million price tag.