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Salvation Army receives $10,000 from City of Barrie to support vital operations

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Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall presented a cheque for $10,000 to the Salvation Army on Tuesday to help with day-to-day operations as the charity deals with high demand.

"They are helping to intervene in the moments where I believe there can be a change in life, and we want to make sure we are a part of the work they do by helping to fund it," Nuttall said.

The Salvation Army's 48 beds are at capacity most nights, and while it no longer offers its meal program to the public, it does provide about 4,200 meals a month for those in its shelter, along with its other services.

"We work diligently through our staff to ensure that people are meeting their goals, that they are searching for employment, that they are looking for affordable housing, and we want to be able to support and continue the work the Salvation Army has been doing for 140 years," said Maj. Bruce Shirran.

The City had committed to supporting social service agencies as part of a controversial motion to deal with chronic homelessness.

The community meal program once offered by the Salvation Army is now handled by other social services, including the Busby Centre.

The Busby Centre has 50 typically filled beds and offers roughly 75 hot meals each night.

Its outreach van also hands out as many as 180 lunches daily.

"The housing situation for people is continuing to be the crisis here. You know people are outside because of that crisis, and we really just want to make sure that we have enough space for people to come in," said Busby Centre's Executive Director Sara Peddle.

Peddel acknowledged the indispensable contribution of volunteers, without whom the center could not provide essential meals and support.

In light of their continuous requirement for support, Peddell extended a call for volunteers, encouraging interested individuals to contact the Busby Centre to lend a helping hand.

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