Our Story

Barrie Out of the Cold provides safe, respectful and welcoming overnight accommodation and meals to the homeless from November to April.

About Barrie Out of the Cold, Homeless ShelterSeven 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

Our History

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.

BOOTC by the Numbers

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

Board of Directors

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


Non Voting Participants

Stacey Daoust – Program Assistant

Our 2015-16 Annual Report