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Temporary Rose Street emergency shelter closes in Barrie


One more safe space for Barrie's most vulnerable has shuttered its doors for the summer months.

The County of Simcoe's temporary Rose Street shelter operated until April 30 to house 40 additional people in an overflow situation during the winter.

Inevitably, the shelter was going to close, but the transition hasn't necessarily been easy for services that aim to help the city's homeless population.

"We do know now that we have to assess people for making sure that we have everybody that is really needing to get into a bed," said Sara Peddle, Busby Centre executive director. "We have to assess people's needs, their vulnerability for whether they've stayed outside before. It's really hard on our staff and our organization to have to choose between 105 people that we were sheltering each night, down to 65 spaces."

According to the County, the move to shutter the temporary space is strategic for it to focus on permanently rehousing individuals.

"What the data tells us each summer, shelter usage, overnight usage is less because some people often only use shelters in inclement weather and others use it more chronically," said Mina Fayez-Bahgat, Social and Community Services general manager for the County of Simcoe. "We pivot and then redesign a summer-based program like we did last year, like a rapid rehousing program."

One of those rapid programs just launched in Orillia, Fayez-Bahgat mentioned, with the opening of 20 new youth rapid rehousing beds. Fayez-Bahgat added that the County is in the process of opening two new programs. Top Stories

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