Barrie Out of the Cold provides safe, respectful and welcoming overnight accommodation and meals to the homeless from November to April.
Seven nights a week from mid-November through April Barrie Out of the Cold provides accommodation and meals to people experiencing homelessness in our community. Each season more than 1,000 volunteers donate their time to prepare, cook and serve dinner and breakfast to our guests every day and to manage our emergency shelter operations. We do not have a permanent location – we operate out of five host churches who generously provide space for sleeping and access to community kitchens for our program’s use.
Monday: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Tuesday: Bethel Community Church of Barrie
Wednesday / Thursday: St. Mary’s Church
Friday: Trinity Anglican Church
Saturday / Sunday: Collier Street United Church
The Out of the Cold program originated in Toronto in response to the 1986 death of a homeless man. Sister Susan Moran, Father John Murphy, and Rev. Canon John Erb, with the help of St. Michael’s High School, made arrangements to provide for a location, food and volunteers for the homeless. A small storefront on St. Clair Ave. was opened on January 15, 1987. From this humble beginning the Out of the Cold program spread throughout Toronto and into many other cities across Canada.
In January 1998 St. Andrew’s Church in Barrie, Ontario, responded to the same needs and was the first Barrie church to open its doors to BOOTC. Two other churches, Collier St. United and Central United, joined the program shortly after, in November 1998. Hi Way Pentecostal became a member church in 2000 followed by St. Mary’s in 2001. In 2006, Hi Way Pentecostal was unable to continue with the program and Bethel Community Church then stepped in that year to provide shelter on Tuesday nights. Since 2001 BOOTC has been able to provide shelter seven days a week during the coldest months of the year.
Total number of guest we have served during past seasons:
2016-2017 …. 5732 guests
2015-2016 …. 5494 guests
2014-2015 …. 4589 guests
2013 -2014 …. 4125 guests
2012-2013 …. 3611 guests
2011-2012 …. 3108 guests
2010-2011 …. 2867 guests
2009-2010 …. 1740 guests
2008-2009 …. 2651 guests
Kelly Watson – President
Deb Exel – Vice President
Vacant – Secretary
Leanne Woodcock – Treasurer
Carol Forget – Director of Operations
Deb Exel – Director of Communications
Sean Stuart – Director
Marissa Schroder – Director
Peter McBryan – Director
Craig Froese – Director of Training
Jason Schwartz – Director
Gayle Atkinson – Director
Stacey Daoust – Program Assistant
Our 2015-16 Annual Report