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Barrie hotel ends housing program, leaving many families in limbo

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A Barrie hotel announced it would stop a housing program due to challenges, leaving several families who called the hotel home for the past few years grappling with uncertainty about where to go.

The Days Inn on Hart Drive started housing people through the Salvation Army's emergency shelter program in 2021, but now, amid the November chill, all will be evicted.

Robert Orr-Duncan and his mother have called the hotel home for nearly a year, and he said he's stressed and worried, "especially with my mother's health" after receiving their eviction notice.

The 35-year-old said he will have to pack up and vacate by Friday.

"But there is still no word for where we are gonna be and my mother has been admitted to the hospital, and they want to know where they will discharge after the surgery," Orr-Duncan said.

He said hotel staff told him everyone must leave because of damage caused in some rooms.

"I don't think it's fair that everyone has to leave. I can understand their point because they don't want to have to repair damages caused by people, but at the same time, they are punishing the good ones," he said.

The move comes at a time when the County is seeing record high numbers of people living on the streets, and this could result in many more with no place to call home.

The evictions would mean an end to the partnership between the Days Inn and the Salvation Army's emergency shelter program.

In a statement to CTV News, the Salvation Army noted the Barrie Bayside Mission had secured temporary accommodation for those being evicted.

But Orr-Duncan said he has yet to be notified about where he and his mother will go, and he worries it could result in them being separated.

He's holding out hope hotel officials reconsider.

"Everyone has a story to tell, and you can't judge a book by its cover," he added.

With one day to pack his and his mother's belongings, Orr-Duncan is waiting to hear about where or if they will have a roof over their heads with winter looming.

CTV News contacted the Days Inn but has not received a response.

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