Emergency motel shelter model comes to an end

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With the temporary emergency motel shelter model ending on July 31, the County of Simcoe is reporting that appropriate temporary and permanent housing options have been identified for individuals willing to be housed within the homelessness prevention services system.

Through intensive on-site services and engagement by county staff and shelter providers, individuals sheltering in the temporary motel model have identified their needs and preferences. Of the 106 individuals using the model in Barrie (as of July 6), more than 76 per cent have been connected with other housing/ shelter options including more permanent housing, regular homeless shelter settings, reunification with family, residential seniors’ services, supportive housing and repatriation to home communities where employment and housing were available. Of the individuals who chose not to exercise any of these options, outreach teams will continue to work with unsheltered individuals to strengthen connections to the wide-range of homelessness prevention services and supports throughout the region.

“We appreciate the efforts and cooperation of our service providers to work with County staff during this period of transition to support the needs of homeless individuals,” said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell. “We recognize that the needs are growing across Ontario and Canada. By working collaboratively and utilizing funds, resources and knowledge of federal, provincial, regional and municipal governments, combined with support from community partners, we can and have made a difference. We know more needs to be done and the County is committed to building sustainable solutions to further address the growing impacts of homelessness within our region.”

Through the commitment and under the direction of County of Simcoe Council, staff continue to work with partners to build upon sustainable options and solutions, including: a new 14-room supportive housing program in the City of Barrie; six supportive housing units at Lucy’s Place in the City of Barrie; an additional 41 shelter beds in regular and temporary shelter settings, bringing the number of shelter beds in the City of Barrie to 152; Simcoe County Housing Corporation build at 20 Rose Street in the City of Barrie (in pre-development); a recently issued Request for Proposals (RFP) to initiate a new temporary homeless shelter facility on county-owned property in Barrie; and Request for Proposals (RFP) for Warming Centre Operations for winter 2022-2023.

County staff will also be engaging the services of a consultant through an upcoming procurement process to assist with a comprehensive review of the system of homelessness services and supports in Simcoe County, with recommendations to council planned for the first quarter of 2023. This review will identify current needs to best position the system to assist homeless individuals and families.

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