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Press Release

County provides update on temporary shelter

Statement by Warden George Cornell

​​Midhurst/October 17, 2022 – The County of Simcoe continues to be on track to have a temporary shelter available for winter 2022 within the City of Barrie. We have been reassured by the vendor, 720 Solutions, that the temporary shelter will be ready for occupancy by mid-late November, 2022, pending municipal approvals. We are currently undergoing the pre-purchase engineering inspection so that we are able to submit the application in full to the City. We have been in discussions with the City and the City of Barrie is aware of the pending application. 

Staff have worked diligently on this issue and we want to ensure that residents receive accurate information on this project. For current information, the County will continue to communicate updates and we ask residents to watch our website for the most recent updates. 720 Shelter Exterior - Main.jpg

About the Temporary Shelter Structure

As the structure selected following the procurement process is modular, very little site work will need to be completed prior to delivery. This modular structure will arrive 98% complete and can be placed on the site as-is and simply connect to local utilities as needed. In other words, it is a turnkey solution. When it arrives on site, it includes its own services, not dependant on external hydro and gas to ensure it can quickly accommodate clientele. City services will be used for water and sewer, but power and heat will be provided by a whisper generator and propane. The modular nature will enable the County to transport and utilize the building in other locations, should needs arise in the future. 

The temporary shelter will provide an additional 50 shelter beds for the city and surrounding communities (bringing the total minimum capacity to 202 shelter beds in the City of Barrie). 

Regional Approach to Shelter and Housing

Homelessness and housing affordability impact the entire region, and projects such as this temporary shelter initiative, warming centres and affordable housing developments occurring across Simcoe County are only possible when our communities work together to pool resources, ideas and funding.​ 

In addition to this temporary shelter, the County is currently delivering additional projects including the warming centre in the City of Barrie. More permanent builds for those who have experienced chronic homelessness in the City of Barrie include the supportive housing project at Tiffin Street (14 beds), additional capacity at Lucy's Place (6 beds), and the future development of a larger affordable housing build on Rose Street, with a projected 150 new apartments for seniors, families, and individuals. In addition the county has expanded shelter capacity within the city, and on a nightly basis there is shelter bed capacity available in the community. As colder temperatures arrive, the temporary shelter, as well as the overnight warming centre, will provide additional options for warmth and shelter. 

For those affected by homelessness, please know that there is space available for you. If you are looking for shelter beds or assistance, please visit simcoe.ca/HomelessnessSystem or call 2-1-1.​

As always, we will continue to work for all of our residents to ensure safe and warm places to stay. 

~ County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell

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Andrea Walasek
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
249-535-3511 (mobile)​

Collin Matanowitsch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
705-734-8386 (mobile)