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New temporary solution to Barrie's homeless crisis is nearly operational


A new temporary solution to Barrie's homeless crisis is nearly operational, with 50 beds expected to be filled throughout the cold winter months.

Advocates say inflation and the lack of affordable housing have highlighted the issues surrounding homelessness.

Sara Peddle, Busby Centre's executive director, said the new site can't open fast enough, noting they are turning people away because they don't have the space for overnight stays.

"More and more people are ending up in shelters and on the street, and unfortunately, we need a bigger solution at multiple levels of government to actually make this not happen," said Peddle.

The Busby Centre will run the temporary shelter on the former OPP property on Rose Street.

"We are definitely, seeing coming out of the pandemic, a lot of people that were possibly in the hidden homeless category of staying with friends or family or couch surfing are now experiencing street homelessness," Peddle added.

There has yet to be a firm date for when the doors will open, as the County says it is working with the City on some final steps.

"In the next few days, we have some connections that need to be done, and we're doing that in cooperation with the City," said Simcoe County Warden George Cornell. "Once that's all done, we're ready for an occupancy permit which requires the City to come and do their inspection and then we're ready to open up."

Inspectors will check everything from fire alarms to plumbing and potential mechanical issues at the temporary shelter.

The City said if there are no issues during the inspection, the shelter would likely be given the green light to operate immediately.

The Rose Street property will eventually be used for supportive housing. Top Stories

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