Skip to main content

Plans underway to rebuild youth emergency shelter in Barrie amid rising demand


By this time next year, Youth Haven in Barrie will look completely different inside and outside.

Officials at Youth Haven and the Simcoe County Home Builders Association have partnered up and, after a lengthy discussion, decided to tear down the current building and rebuild.

Youth Haven new build - artist rendering. (Supplied)

Youth Haven Executive Director Lucy Gowers said after 13 years and numerous repairs, this rebuild is crucial.

"We have issues with our foundation. We are actually trying to figure out the best step for us with our heating needs as well because we've had issues with our furnace, and we don't know if it's on its last leg, we've had some water damage," she said.

To date, $300,000 has been raised, with the overall goal to raise $2 million for the project.

"There will be no interruptions to the programs that we offer," Gowers said. "The youth will be transitioning into a local hotel just as we've done during COVID so that we can continue to work with them."

Gowers said that roughly 200 youth stayed at the shelter on and off last year alone, and staff still had to turn many people away.

This new opportunity will allow the centre to serve more youth and have a space for more staff and health care providers.

"The capacity at the shelter is currently 19, and with the new build, we can take that up to 31. Last year, we had to say, 'I'm sorry, but we don't have a bed for you this evening,' over 200 times. That's 200 times too many, especially when you're 18, and you're on the streets struggling to survive and have nowhere to go," said Gowers.

Officials expect construction to take roughly two months to complete, and the plan is to begin the teardown in the spring. Top Stories

Stay Connected