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Friends gather downtown, give out free food, haircuts (4 photos)

They say it's going to happen again

It may have looked like a party in downtown Barrie today by Memorial Square, but an impromptu event was held more-so to lend a hand to those who need it.

With music playing and a bbq going, Andrew Sutton and some friends handed out food, water and clothes to those who needed it in the community. The 21-year-old Barrie resident was on hand greeting people and having friendly conversation all in the name of goodwill.

“We’re not a part of any community organization or anything like that,” said Sutton. “Me and my friends just love coming downtown and being a part of the many events the city has and wondered how we could give back to folks who need a little pick-me-up themselves.”

Sutton and friends brought a bbq and table down to the spot and set up on one of the hottest days thus far of 2017. While the young local musician tried to get a permit to host the event, he admittedly didn’t have one on him as city officials had just checked in on him earlier in the day.

 “They came by a couple times today but have been friendly about it,” said Sutton. “We looked into getting a permit and they said it was like a six-month wait; we didn’t want to wait six months that’s way too long. We thought we’d give it a go and see what they say. I think they’ve talked it through, see the intention being put forth and they just want us to make sure we get it done for next time.”

The group of friends had been posting flyers at local businesses and around the areas of the city where they could most help (shelters and Salvation Army) and received help from places like Starbucks who donated coffee. Setting up at 10 a.m. the team had everything ready to go by 11 a.m. but had a lineup ten minutes prior to that. Making the event even more unique was not just that food, drink and clothes were free but also so were the haircuts they were giving away. With no local affiliation, the group gave the event the name Nottus The People (Sutton backwards) and there are plans to hold more throughout the year.

“We were hoping to just do this and watch as more people got into the spirit of it just-takes-one type thing,” said Sutton. “We already have people here lending a hand with serving food and watching the clothes donations; it is very inspiring what positive we can do when we just go out and do it.”

Tommy Martin heard about the event before today while at the Salvation Army and was curious as to what it was all about. The 19-year-old was very thankful for the selflessness of the group and says it’s nice to see people thinking about people who need the help. 

“I think it’s amazing that they’re hosting this,” said Martin. “It gives people a chance to get a little more food in their stomachs and some cold water on a hot day. It’s also a really great atmosphere with the music playing and everybody chilling out together. We’re all getting along and having fun just talking with each other; the guys are very nice to have done this for us.”

The event goes till 6 p.m. tonight.