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Busby Centre receives $105K donation, new outreach van

'We feel extremely honoured to be chosen as their charity of choice for Barrie,' Busby Centre executive director Sara Peddle says of the BLT Construction Services donation

As part of its Building Blocks of Hope (BBOH) pandemic relief fundraising campaign for people experiencing homelessness, BLT Construction Services has donated $105,000 to The Busby Centre in Barrie to support the 24/7 social service health hub and help fund a much-needed outreach van.

One year ago, BLT, along with partner Sprung Structures, led the design-build of the regional pandemic response unit at Barrie's Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH). Now, BLT says it is giving back to charities across Ontario and Quebec in each
of the regions where BLT has built pandemic response structures and field hospitals.

“The Busby Centre is amazed by the portfolio of BLT Construction's innovative and purpose-built projects like temporary homelessness shelters and pandemic response units (PRUs), including the PRU that they constructed at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Health Centre at the beginning of the pandemic," Busby Centre executive director Sara Peddle said in a news release. 

"We are also inspired by their mandate to give back in communities that they have projects in across Canada and we feel extremely honoured to be chosen as their charity of choice for Barrie," she added. "The integrity and leadership of BLT Construction something to be respected and celebrated. We want to express our extreme gratitude to BLT Construction and your partners for this amazing donation to The Busby Centre."

BLT Construction Services president Mark Watts said when the pandemic began, their team of construction managers and design-build experts immediately shifted their focus to provide emergency solutions that would have the largest impact in supporting communities with their COVID-19 response.

"We pride ourselves on being innovative problem solvers and we knew we could use our talented team to help our communities and BBOH takes this one step further," he said. "From the beginning we pledged to help people experiencing homelessness by investing back into the communities where we built pandemic response structures.”

“We at BLT are incredibly proud of the rapid response made by our people, and our dedicated consultants, subcontractors, and suppliers,” said BLT chief financial officer Danny Gollogly. “The success of the BBOH campaign speaks to the importance of community within the construction industry.

"Everyone rallied together during unprecedented challenges to build pandemic response structures, and the force of that momentum was carried through in the response we received when we shared our BBOH campaign with them," he added. 

The Busby Centre focuses on reducing the impact of poverty, homelessness, insufficient employment, addiction and mental health issues through outreach and drop-in services to participants within the city of Barrie and area.

Services include a 24/7 social service health hub facility that responds to the Barrie community's homelessness crisis by providing housing focused programs, services, and emergency group lodging, and a mobile outreach program that provides a mobile and accessible link for people who are living in poverty or are homeless, to resources and support in the Barrie area.