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Published December 21, 2023

There is optimism shortfall can be made up as Salvation Army Kettle Campaign pushes toward $550,000 goal

Canada Helps contest
The Salvation Army Barrie Bayside Mission Centre is participating in the "Canada Helps Great Canadian Challenge" for the month of June and this means that your donation might stretch even further by helping them win an additional $20,000!

All is not lost.

It's the feeling of Major Bruce Shirran, executive director of the Salvation Army Bayside Mission in Barrie, as the organization's Kettle Campaign remains shy of its $550,000 target.

As of Thursday afternoon, the agency had collected just under $334,000.

Kettles have been set up throughout Barrie as well as Alliston and Stroud.

The campaign winds down Dec. 23 and Shirran is optimistic the target can be met.

The Kettle Campaign is a major portion of the local Salvation Army's annual operating budget, according to Shirran.

"The funding is very much significant to continue the operation of what we do."

Not meeting that target, says Shirran, means the organization will have to determine other possible fundraising options going forward. But he doesn't believe it will get to that point.

"The reality is that the people of Barrie are very generous people."

The Bayside Mission is a shelter for homeless men, a 48 bed facility, and Shirran says they are at capacity.

The agency also provides housing and employment supports to these individuals, not to mention cooking three meals a day throughout the year, which works out to around 4,200 meals a month.

There is also a family shelter which currently operates out of a hotel, and those people are supported in the same way as those using the services of the Bayside Mission.

A recent survey found one in four Canadians are extremely concerned about having enough income to cover their basic needs, with the highest degree of hardship being felt by single parents.

The Salvation Army released the data on Monday as part of their annual report examining Canadians' attitudes and experiences with poverty and related socioeconomic issues.

Among single parents, closer to half are reporting extreme concern about meeting basic needs at 40 per cent, while the numbers clock in at 31 per cent for single-person households and 31 per cent for caregivers.

Files - The Canadian Press

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