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Homelessness is a problem that most people would not associate with Canada, yet it is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. The estimated number of homeless people in Canada ranges from 150,000 to 300,000, and the figure has been rising.

Barrie is no exception, with the 4th highest rental prices in the country, slim vacancy rates and over 550 individuals identified in Simcoe County as experiencing homelessness during the 2018 Homelessness Survey.

This homelessness crisis has significantly impacted drop-in centres, local shelters, community food banks, the judicial and hospital systems and Barrie’s downtown core.



The Busby Centre is a solutions-focused social service organization that facilitates meaningful support and programming while working with collaborative partners to enhance accessible multidisciplinary support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Over the last thirty-plus years, the Busby Centre program has changed many people’s daily lives in our inner city. Thousands of people have walked through the doors of these organizations to find refuge from the elements, specifically from the harsh winters.

Some individuals and families come to us seeking a nutritious meal, shelter, a shower, fresh clothing, and nonjudgmental support. Others have nowhere to rest their weathered and beaten body, mind, and spirit.

Some struggle with illness, disability, addictions, or feelings of rejection and loneliness. Everyone is looking for a compassionate hand-up or a listening ear. Many are seeking a second, third or fourth chance.

When a friend or family member in our personal lives is going through hard times, we invite them over to provide friendship and kindness. We pull an extra chair up to the dinner table. If they need to stay over, we find space for them to rest so they can face a new day with support and unconditional love.

Our organization strives to make each participant’s experience similarly welcoming and dignifying.

There’s a



During the 2018 Homelessness Survey, our community identified 550+ people experiencing homelessness in Simcoe County, with most respondents within the Barrie city limits.


This crisis cannot be ignored. As a community, we must commit to ending homelessness through its only solution: housing and support.


We are collaborating for a stronger community.

Join Us in Creating a Community Social Service Collaborative Hub

Dear Friends of Busby,

In our ever-evolving society, the need for support systems and resources for vulnerable people has never been more critical. At The Busby Centre, we are dedicated to assisting and caring for individuals and families facing homelessness, mental health challenges, and other hardships. Today, we stand at the threshold of a remarkable opportunity to expand our impact and reach even more lives in need.

We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of our new home, a space that will serve as the cornerstone of our vision for a Community Social Service Collaborative Hub. This facility will not only provide a haven for those experiencing homelessness. Still, it will also offer a comprehensive range of services to address the root causes of social challenges and foster sustainable solutions.

With your support, we will transform this space into a beacon of hope and resilience for our community. Here’s how your contribution will make a tangible difference:

1. Expanded Services: Our new facility will broaden program offerings, including climate-controlled spaces, increased bed capacity, on-site meal services, hygiene and shower facilities, and work opportunities. These essential services will empower individuals to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose.

2. Community Collaboration: As a Community Social Service Collaborative Hub, we will work with local organizations, businesses, and volunteers to create a support network that addresses our community’s multifaceted needs. Together, we can achieve far more than any organization could accomplish alone.

3. Addressing Mental Health: The statistics are staggering – among the homeless population, estimates of mental illness range from 30% to 40%, with new research suggesting it could be even higher than 50%. Additionally, about 4,000 Canadians per year die by suicide – an average of almost 11 suicides a day. By providing integrated mental health services within our hub, we aim to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and provide timely support to those in crisis.

4. Empowering Change: By investing in our cause, you are not just providing temporary relief but investing in long-term solutions that empower individuals to break the cycle of poverty and adversity. Together, we can create a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond our walls.

We have set an ambitious goal of $2.2 million to bring our vision to life, and we cannot achieve it without your help. Every dollar you donate will directly impact the lives of those we serve, bringing us one step closer to realizing our shared vision of a more compassionate and inclusive community.

Join us in shaping a brighter future for all. Your generosity can transform lives and cultivate hope for generations to come. Together, let’s make a meaningful difference

With Gratitude,

Team Busby

The Collaborating for a Stronger Community Project Will:


  • Expanded Services: Our new facility will broaden our program offerings, including climate-controlled spaces, increased bed capacity, on-site meal services, hygiene and shower facilities, and work opportunities. These essential services will empower individuals to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose.

We aim to assist everyone in finding the shortest path from homelessness to safe, affordable and sustainable housing in collaboration with our many community partners.

We are raising $2,2 Million Dollars

We’re expanding our services to better serve community members experiencing homelessness. Exciting sponsorship opportunities are available to support this initiative. For more information, please contact Louise Jackson at



By supporting this integral expansion project, you are committing to the social innovation of a shared social services facility and helping to change the lives of many people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Barrie. We anticipate serving over 8,000 individuals and families over the next five years. Therefore, for every $10,000 donated, only $1.25 per person, you will have positively impacted many lives on their path from homelessness to housing.

Please consider donating and/or offering a product or service discount in exchange for a Gift In-Kind Income Tax receipt to support this critical community project. For more information, please get in touch with Louise Jackson at 705-828-3744 or email

Your contribution will be instrumental in helping construct an expanded facility that includes a drop-in resource centre, a variety of clinical supports, housing-focused emergency group lodging, access to supportive housing, and progressive services centred on helping people transition back into safe homes, jobs and the community.