Temporary homeless shelter will open Friday night in Barrie

The shelter will have 50 beds

An additional 50 beds will be added to the roster when a temporary homeless shelter opens on Rose Street Friday night.

The city has issued the final occupancy permit to the County of Simcoe, and the county is working with the Busby Centre, which will operate shelter services, to begin sheltering residents. The county has also arranged for on-site security during operating hours when the shelter opens and periodic site checks during non-operating hours.

“We know the past two years have been extremely difficult for many residents,” said Warden Basil Clarke. “That is why the county and our partners have stepped up to provide more supports and shelter space throughout our entire region than ever before. This is a serious issue, and while it is important that this temporary solution is in place, council and staff are committed to identifying effective and prudent long-term solutions.”

The modular shelter is located at 50 Rose Street, on the property of a former OPP detachment, and eventually the county plans to build affordable housing on the site with 150 apartments for individuals, families and seniors.

The opening of the shelter comes as a winter storm is set to wallop southern Ontario on Friday, with a bitter wind chill and snowy conditions expected through Christmas weekend.

The shelter system in Barrie includes the Elizabeth Fry Society, the Busby Centre, the Salvation Army Bayside Mission and Youth Haven.

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