After months of construction, the David Busby Centre is ready to help the city’s most vulnerable stay safe and stay warm. 

In June, Barrie’s Out of the Cold program consolidated its operation with the centre to help provide food and shelter to the homeless throughout the winter months.

With its move back into the 88 Mulcaster this weekend, the permanent shelter and services building will be open and operational on Sunday night. Opening the new bigger and safer building, staff at the Busby Centre say creates an opportunity. 

“We`re focusing on housing, (and) we want to make sure that people that are experiencing homelessness have every opportunity for housing that they can,” said Sara Peddle, Executive Director at the David Busby Centre.  “We have housing workers here. All of our conversations will be housing focused, and we`ll just continue to advocate for more housing.”

On December 18, city council voted unanimously in favour of giving $200 thousand to help the centre open the facility, but it’s still short approximately the $200 thousand from its goal. 

This is where supporters like local artist Shane Dennis step in.

For the eighth consecutive year, Dennis will spend seven nights leading up to Christmas in a cardboard box with the hope of getting people’s attention. 

“I figured it`s the least I can do,” said Dennis. “To raise some awareness and to help people to how I like to say activate their activism, and help participate in doing something positive for the community.”

Over the last seven years, Dennis has raised close to $25 thousand dollars for the Busby Centre. 

Clients looking to stay in one of the 55 beds, the overnight services can do so beginning on Sunday night on a first come first serve basis.