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LETTER: Busby Centre looks to clarify 'several false statements' made about facility

'People may be asked to leave the program for a temporary period, which is always a last choice when confronted with a complex behaviour situation,' says official
2020-12-06 David Busby Centre RB 1
The David Busby Centre on Mulcaster Street in Barrie. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday files

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at raymond@barrietoday.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a story titled 'Councillor says Busby Centre shouldn't turn people away, calls for more answers' published on Nov. 16. 
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Over the past 48 hours, several false statements have been made about our organization in various public settings. As a not-for-profit that relies on donations, we are deeply concerned that this misinformation will adversely impact our reputation, staff, participants, and our long-term financial sustainability.

Considering this, the Busby Centre feels that it is important to take this opportunity to provide clarity and context.

The Busby Centre provides low-barrier housing, focused sheltering, and outreach supports to individuals and families experiencing  and at risk of  homelessness in Barrie and Collingwood (Simcoe County). We believe that the shelter may be part of their journey, however, we strive that housing should always remain the ultimate destination.

There are minimal expectations to be followed while in the shelter program for the safety of all participants in the program, staff,
and volunteers. Please refer to the follow link for best practices of housing focused (low barrier) sheltering where we have referred to for our sheltering guidelines and practice evolution.

People may be asked to leave the program for a temporary period, which is always a last choice when confronted with a complex behaviour situation. Nonetheless, there are instances where a temporary service restriction is necessary for the safety of the individual, others within the building, or the facility itself, and are based on severity.

Busby refers to it as a service restriction list versus a ban list as the person who is temporarily leaving continues to be supported for the three to 30 days through our Outreach Team. The outreach team works with the person to continue to find housing and/or seek shelter in another program or provide supplies and regular safety checks for those who remain unsheltered. This service restrictions list is reviewed weekly and rarely has more than three to five people on it at a time.

We would like to encourage any members of city council to engage us when they would like to receive better clarity on the incredible work our organization is doing in the community to support all individuals, regardless of their mental health, addiction, or housing status.

We also encourage the community to continue to advocate to all levels of government for a significant and immediate increase in viable and supportive housing for low-income individuals and families because everybody is somebody.

Thank you.

Sara Peddle
The Busby Centre, executive director

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