As the calendar turns to November, many are turning up the heat while others are dreaming of a warm place to sleep.
On Monday, Nov. 4, the David Busby Centre will begin its overnight emergency group lodgings, aimed at getting the most vulnerable people off the streets.
While sleeping areas will be available, there's more to helping the homeless than providing temporary relief, says Sara Peddle, the executive director at the Mulcaster Street centre.
“We will not only be making sure that people have somewhere to stay, but also we will look at housing solutions for them,” said Peddle. “That means we will work closely with anyone who comes in and do what we can to help them get off the street in a more permanent situation.”
The Busby Centre has up to 55 spaces available for overnight sleeping and a warming area for those in need when the weather is extreme.
This will be the second year that the Busby Centre will be having overnight sleeping since the building at 88 Mulcaster St. was renovated in 2018 to accommodate the growing need.
To ease into the transition, Peddle says they will start with a lower number of availability next week.
"We are looking at housing 30 for the next couple of weeks in order to work out any kinks before the real cold weather gets here," Peddle said.
Before the centre gets really busy, tonight will be all about honouring those who have helped get the Busby Centre to the point it's at.
The annual Street Light Gala takes place tonight at the Barrie Country Club at 635 St. Vincent St. The dinner and show is a fundraiser to assist in the Busby Centre's needs.
“It’s a big deal for us and is really exciting because we get to hand out some awards for some of the community champions that do so much for us,” Peddle said. “It is an amazing time to be able to celebrate them, but also raise really important funds to make sure our services are here.”
The centre is looking for volunteers and has many shifts available for anyone looking to give their time.
Breakfast is served from 7-10 a.m., dinner is from 5-8 p.m., social time is from 8-10 p.m. and the overnight shift is 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Anyone looking to help can reach out by using the contact information at the website.