Gents – can you lend a hand?

handNever underestimate the importance of people – Barrie Out of the Cold could not do what they do without the support of volunteers.

In just a few short weeks, Barrie Out of the Cold will open its’ doors for another season. As much as we wish we were out of a job, the cold, hard truth is that emergency shelters are a fact of life during a Canadian winter … and Barrie is no exception. Last year we provided overnight accommodation and meals just shy of 5500 times!

Providing shelter, serving up dinner, breakfast and everything in between 7 days a week, takes a workforce of approximately 1000 volunteers each season. As we prepare to open on November 14th, we still need men to help on the following shifts:

Dinner – 5pm to 8pm,  Evening – 8pm to 11pm, Overnight – 11pm to 6am, and Breakfast 6am to 8am.

Our season runs for only 6 months and volunteers are asked to work just 1 shift per month. A small time commitment each month allows Barrie Out of the Cold to offer this important service to our community.

So what do you think, gents? Can you lend a hand? Contact us at or apply online .


BOOTC Announces Discussions with Busby Regarding Shared Location and Services

As many of you know, Barrie Out of the Cold has been ‘temporarily’ hosted by our church partners for 18 seasons in a row. This is a wonderful expression of support by these partners and we are indebted to them, as we are our 1100-strong volunteer corps.  We have been exploring the option of moving to a single site which would present many advantages and, as well, integrating our services with community partners that would provide a more realistic chance of actually ending homelessness.

We are pleased to announce that we are in discussions with the David Busby Street Centre to provide such an integrated service from one location, at 88-90 Mulcaster Street.  The earliest such a move is expected would be for the 2017-18 season – or two complete Out of the Cold seasons from now.  This is because the facility plan is still being developed and there are many ‘moving pieces’ to the puzzle.  In any event, our volunteer network will be as important as ever in the lead-up to this move and, indeed, in the new facility as well.  This process is being facilitated by ‘Pathways’ which is a multi-agency planning group dedicated to ending homelessness in our community.

We have put together a few questions and answers to help understand this initiative:

Q: Why is BOOTC in discussion to combine its services with the DBSC (and other partners)?

A: BOOTC has been focused on providing emergency shelter services for 18+ years to the homeless and marginalized but it was never intended to be a ‘permanent’ solution.  By integrating our services with other providers such as DBSC we can work together to actually reduce the need for emergency shelter services and achieve the goal of ending homelessness.  By co-locating on one site, we will be able to offer our guests a consistent, efficient, multi-service experience.

Q: When will BOOTC leave the churches/move into 88-90 Mulcaster St?

A: The timing is ‘fluid’ since there are many pieces to the process but our expectation is that we will be in 88-90 Mulcaster for the 2017-18 season i.e. two complete Out of the Cold seasons from now.  This timing is subject to change.

Q: What will the combined organization/structure look like?

A: This is the subject of ongoing discussion with DBSC and other partners and the results will be announced in the months to come.

Q: Will volunteers still be needed in the new organization?

A: Yes, we expect that volunteers will be needed both during the period up to the relocation as well as part of the new service delivery at Mulcaster Street.  Our 1100+ volunteers are our most valuable resource and we will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition to the new site.

Q: Will fund-raising be required for this new, combined facility?

A: Yes but we are at an early stage of planning the combined facility and capital/operating budgets will only be determined after the facility plan is confirmed, sometime early in 2016.

 Q: What is the role of ‘Pathways’ in this new arrangement?

A: ‘Pathways’ is a multi-agency planning group that is facilitating the transition by helping with facility planning and co-ordination of services.  The immediate focus of our discussions is with DBSC and Pathways is assisting by facilitating these discussions.


Barrie Out of the Cold is extremely grateful to its community of volunteers, donors, friends and partners for their ongoing support. We will continue to post updates of further developments.  Thank you.

Barrie Out of the Cold Volunteer Training Portal now open!

Training solutions for 1100+ volunteers requires a comprehensive approach.

On the heels of the most successful annual volunteer orientation and training event yet, Barrie Out of the Cold is announcing the soft launch of it’s Volunteer Training Portal – a website created just for delivering and managing training information and solutions.

As you can imagine, providing training and information to more than 1100 active volunteers is a big challenge. Using a suite of methods such as live group events, on-the-job training and online tools allows us to be more efficient and effective in our training approach and reach. It’s also a convenient option for many volunteers.

Starting with a Pre-Season ‘Check In’ quiz, Barrie Out of the Cold will continue to build a toolbox of online materials to supplement traditional training methods and to support the organization’s volunteer base.

You can get a look at the BOOTC Volunteer Training Portal at

It’s Socktober!

A simple thing like a pair of dry socks adds a little comfort and warmth after a harsh winter day.

There is no feeling more miserable than walking around all day in soggy, frigid socks. By the time our guests arrive at Out of the Cold after a long day on the street, their feet are cold and wet.

In fact, for homeless people, it is their feet that suffer the most trauma as they spend so much time standing outside where it’s hard to keep their feet warm and dry.  A pair of clean, dry socks not only provides warmth, but can also help prevent blisters and infections as well.

So imagine the feeling of relief and gratitude when handed a pair of thick, dry socks to help take the deep chill and discomfort away. Yes, a simple thing like a pair of winter socks can help make someone’s day just a little bit better (and healthier).

That’s why we’re declaring this month ‘Socktober‘ ! Donations of men’s and women’s winter socks can be dropped off at our Community Information and Volunteer Recruitment night Oct.15th from 7-830pm at the Barrie City Hall Rotunda. Or have a ‘Socktober‘ at your office, school, or neighbourhood to collect socks for Barrie Out of the Cold and we will pick them up!

Barrie Out of the Cold … protecting our homeless from the cold.

October 6th and 15th – Community Information & Volunteer Recruitment Nights

Sleeping outside during a Canadian winter is NOT an option!

Volunteer Recruitment and Community Information Night

Barrie Out of the Cold needs volunteers for the 2015-16 season!

October 6th and October 15th


Barrie City Hall Rotunda, 70 Collier Street, Barrie

Please help us help the homeless in our community.

Supporting Barrie Out of the Cold is a year-round job.

When the nice weather arrives and our doors close for the season, our job here at Barrie Out of the Cold does not take a summer hiatus. Behind the scenes there is much to do prepare for when we open again in 6 months.

We are grateful there are BOOTC (Barrie Out of the Cold) fans out there that are actively working to raise funds so we can continue to keep providing this important community service. Currently, friends of BOOTC have organized a golf tournament on our behalf – they are looking for golfers, sponsors or donations of prizes to support this event.

Here are the details:

Barrie Out of the Cold Golf Tournament

July 16, 2015     1pm Shotgun start

Springwater Golf Course

$125 pp includes golf cart, meal and prizes

For more information, please contact:

Karen Zinn at  or Bob Monteith at

Hope to see you there and thank you to all the friends and fans of BOOTC that support us year-round!

Community Support During the Holidays

The board of Barrie Out of the Cold would like to thank the community for their support over the holiday season. This can be a difficult time of year for many of our guests who are experiencing homelessness and may be away from their families. The gift of a new pair of long underwear, a Tim Horton’s gift card or a warm pair of mitts can mean so much. If you would like to make a cash donation you can do so here. Continue reading

Barrie Out of the Cold Launches New Website

Thanks to a significant contribution by area business Piggybank Technology, Barrie Out of the Cold is delighted to announce the launch of its new look and website. The new site provides a greater level of functionality and easy access for those looking for help, to help or to make a donation. The board would like to thank Scott and Jennifer Gingrich and the entire Piggybank Technology team for their tremendous support with this project. Please stay tuned Continue reading