Collingwood Busby Centre seeks permanent home

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If all goes according to plan, the Busby Centre could have a new home in Collingwood by early next year.

The Collingwood Out of the Cold program started offering emergency shelter spaces in borrowed premises in December 2018 but it quickly became clear that the need was far greater than a handful of volunteers could manage. In 2020, they joined forces with the Busby Centre in Barrie and began offering a motel voucher program. Executive Director Sara Peddle says the search is on for a permanent space to service the Southern Georgian Bay region.

The Collingwood hub has recently helped nine people transition into permanent housing, but Peddle says others in need quickly took their places. Currently the centre is assisting eight singles and one family. There are 15 to 20 active volunteers in the Collingwood location, and more are needed. People in need of assistance can connect with the services of the Busby Centre at the Collingwood Library on Tuesday afternoons, or speak with members of the Outreach Team which takes to the streets four days per week. There is also a 24 hour crisis line at 705-828-3795.

The original Busby Centre in Barrie was opened in the basement of Trinity Church in 1993 to provide a safe place for people dealing with homelessness where they would not be judged. By 2014 they had outgrown the church basement and moved to theircurrent location at 88 Mulcaster Street. The centre will celebrate its 30th Anniversary beginning in October with a series of events including a November fundraising gala. The Shelter and Outreach programs also receive funding from the County of Simcoe.

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