News release from the County of Simcoe
The County of Simcoe and the City of Barrie are pleased to announce that the temporary homeless shelter building recently arrived at the Rose Street location in Barrie. The County and the City continue to work collaboratively to ensure that the homeless shelter is available for the coldest months ahead. This temporary initiative is funded by the County of Simcoe with a contribution from the City of Barrie.
The City has issued the building permit for the assembly and MTO approval has been obtained. Once assembly is complete and all building systems are operational and tested, final occupancy will be requested by the County. The goal for everyone is to have the additional shelter beds available as early as possible in December. Details regarding the opening date of the temporary overnight homeless shelter will be shared once confirmed.
“I am incredibly pleased with the efforts that our staff have taken, in collaboration with the City of Barrie, to identify this temporary solution before the coldest nights of winter hit our region,” said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell. “It can take months, or even years to implement a solution like this, however, due to collaboration, partnership and hard work, it came together extremely fast. We thank our partners at the City, Province, our vendor 720 Solutions and everyone working and volunteering to help our vulnerable residents.”
“I’m very happy to see strong collaboration between the City and the County on this important project,” said Michael Prowse, City of Barrie CAO. “Thank you to the County for their very quick work to make this project a reality. The issue of homelessness is something we all take very seriously, and I look forward to more collaboration with the County to create additional solutions to address it.”
The temporary shelter will be operated by The Busby Centre, an organization that provides shelter and outreach services to individuals and families in the City of Barrie. Since the arrival of the modular buildings, the County has arranged security for periodic site checks and once the temporary shelter is open for services in December, there will be on-site security during operating hours.
As more individuals are using shelters now that colder temperatures have arrived, the County and our funded homeless shelter operators have a plan in place to use the motel voucher program for individuals wanting to come indoors when shelter beds are full. Additionally, the County has secured warming centre locations across the region for nights when temperatures fall below -15 degrees Celsius.