COUNTY OF SIMCOE
ITEM FOR: HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE
SECTION: Children and Community Services
ITEM NO. HS 10-156
MEETING DATE: September 14, 2010
SUBJECT: Closure of Bii-nbaan Endaayaang Emergency Shelter
THAT Item HS 10-156 regarding the closure of Bii-nbaan Endaayaang, be received for
AND THAT approval be given to enter into a per diem service agreement with the David Busby
Street Centre Outreach Program for homeless families that would otherwise access the services at
Bii-nbaan Endaayaang, as outlined in Item HS 10-156.
On July 29, 2010, S.U.N. Housing, the owner and operator of Bii-nbaan Endaayaang, notified the
County of Simcoe that they would be closing operations (see Schedule 1) at the Bii-nbaan
Endaayaang emergency homeless shelter facility located at 38 Toronto Street in Barrie. This
emergency homeless shelter was established in 2003. The County of Simcoe contracted with this
shelter to provide 14 emergency beds for men, 6 emergency beds for women, and one room for a
family unit within the shelter. As a result of this shelter closure, the County cancelled the current
service agreement with the agency, and notified other agencies of the situation. Bii-nbaan
Endaayaang’s emergency shelter statistics for 2009 are illustrated in the following charts:
Chart1: Gender Breakdown
September 14, 2010 Human Services Committee HS 10-156 Page 2
Chart 2: Age Cohort Breakdown
In 2009, Bii-nbaan Endaayaang provided emergency homeless shelter services to 139 males and 57
females. The average length of stay for shelter clients was approximately 5.6 days, and the average
age of shelter clients was 37. Youth represented 21% of the client stays in this shelter. In addition,
there were 9 families served. The shelter’s family demographic composition was as follows: 1
couple with children; 2 couples without children; 1 male lone parent with a child; and 5 female lone
parents with children.
Community Emergency Homelessness Shelter Issues and Gaps
In general, the youth, men’s, and women’s shelters provide sufficient shelter beds to meet the needs
of the homeless population in Barrie. There is room in the homelessness services system to further
develop services for homeless families. Further analysis of the trends within each of those
populations is provided in the paragraphs below.
Presently, there are 3 emergency shelters located in the downtown core of Barrie that have County
service agreements. These emergency shelters are: Youth Haven with 20 beds for both male and
female youth, Salvation Army with 20 beds for men, and Elizabeth Fry Society with 27 beds for
women. In addition to these emergency shelters, the County contracts with the Salvation Army to
provide the motel emergency voucher program for the Barrie area.
In the last quarter of 2009, Youth Haven emergency shelter moved locations to an expanded shelter
facility to help support homeless youth between 16 to 24 years of age. As a result, their shelter
capacity increased from 9 beds to 15 permanent beds, with an additional 5 emergency lodging beds
located in their facility’s common room. As a result of Youth Haven’s expanded shelter beds
September 14, 2010 Human Services Committee HS 10-156 Page 3
program for youth, it is not anticipated that the closure of Bii-nbaan Endaayaang will impact shelter
access for this age population in Barrie.
Youth Haven does however continue to experience growing pressures in meeting the rising
occurance of youth homelessness and need for transitional housing programs designed for youth
populations. In 2008, 29% of the homeless population served in Simcoe County was between the
ages of 15 to 24 years of age. Similarly in 2009, 30% of the homeless population served in Simcoe
County was between the ages of 15 to 24 years of age. In addition, youth admitted in 2009 to a
Barrie homeless shelter between the ages of 15 to 24 represented 32% of the 971 unique individuals
that accessed homeless emergency shelter beds in Barrie.
Couples or lone parents presenting with children needing immediate shelter are a homeless
population group that could be potentially impacted by the closure of Bii-nbaan Endaayaang.
Without access to family-centred emergency shelter services, and rapid family screening and
assessment services, this population demographic will continue to remain at risk of ongoing
homelessness. Discussions with service providers in the coummunity indicate the outreach service
provided by the David Busby Street Centre can help facilitate this potential gap by integrating the
program’s outreach services with the motel voucher program for families presenting during non-
traditional service delivery hours. There is strong capacity within the David Busby Street Centre to
proactively address family homelessness. Over the years, the David Busby Street Centre, through
their outreach services, partnered with Bii-nbaan Endaayaang to provide fast access and supports
for this population through the shelter’s family unit.
The David Busby Street Centre’s Outreach Program demonstrates strong cohesion among many
community service providers such as the Homeless Shelters, the Barrie Out of The Cold Program
and housing resource programs. The Program is staffed by a co-ordinator and provides services
through its mobile street van, including health services as well as a toll free program number for
residents at risk of homelessness. The program is an integral service system partner performing
referral and service provision to at risk individuals and families. The David Busby Centre’s
Outreach Program also facilitates the Central Intake function for Homeless Shelter services during
The County of Simcoe has 6 service contract agreements with agencies throughout Simcoe County
for emergency homeless shelter per diem administration through a community based shelter –
motel voucher service delivery model. This service delivery model has proven effective in areas
where there are no formal shelters available.
It is anticipated that entering into a service agreement with the David Busby Street Centre for
emergency homeless per diems for the community based emergency motel voucher program can
help resolve the gap for homeless families created by the closure of Bii-nbaan Endaayaang.
In 2007 and 2008 actual shelter billings from Bii-nbaan were $202,933.10 and $211,368.75
respectively. However, in 2009 actual shelter billings from this shelter were only $97,345.30, and
in the 2nd quarter of 2010 shelters billing only reached $34,280.20. For 2010, the shelter budget for
this service provider was set at $200,000, with the anticipation that service levels would be more
reflective of the 2007 and 2008 billing levels.
September 14, 2010 Human Services Committee HS 10-156 Page 4
Given this information, the recommendation to extend a per diem motel voucher service agreement
to the David Busby Street Centre can be accommodated within the current annual County budget.
This recommendation will ensure that the community emergency shelter response system can
address gaps that might be anticipated due to the closure of Bii-nbaan Endaayaang. This capacity
will also serve to provide a rapid assessment with supports for families in need and continue to
complement the existing shelter providers.
The total 2010 budget for emergency homeless shelter funding is $1,542,215. This funding
envelope is cost shared with the province contributing 80.6% and the municipal share contributing
19.4%. The municipal portion is cost shared with the cities of Barrie and Orillia.
The following schedule is attached and forms part of this Item.
Schedule 1 - Letter from S.U.N. Housing.
Notice of Closure.pdf
PREPARED BY: Doriano Calvano, Program Supervisor
Arfona Zwiers, Manager, Social Policy and Planning August 26, 2010
Greg Bishop, Director, Children and Community Services August 31, 2010
Terry Talon, General Manager, Social Services September 1, 2010
Lealand Sibbick, Deputy Treasurer September 3, 2010
Mark Aitken, Chief Administrative Officer September 7, 2010