City of Barrie partners with Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General in a shuttle program helping those newly released from the local prison get back to their home communities.
The city said it has reached an agreement with the province for the City to pilot a shuttle service that will allow individuals released from Central North Correctional Centre (CNCC) to get closer to home instead of ending up in downtown Barrie.
The city said that, historically, Barrie was chosen as the drop-off location for individuals released from the Penetanguishene prison because it was the closest city that provided regional transit service.
This pilot project is part of a Council motion approved on May 17, and fulfils one of the mayor’s promises that if elected he would end prison drop-offs at the downtown Barrie bus terminal.
“The release of individuals from CNCC to the Barrie area created a challenging situation for the City. It’s an issue I heard a lot of concerns about when I was out knocking on doors during the election,” said Mayor Alex Nuttall.
“I’m excited for the opportunity for the City of Barrie to partner with the Province of Ontario on this pilot project to provide additional options to help individuals successfully transition out of the correctional system.”
The city said that individuals are released each day from the correctional centre with a portion of them coming to Barrie.
Of the approximately 700 homeless people in Simcoe County, half identify as living within Barrie, and 38 per cent identified they were homeless because of “health or correctional” issues.
The City said it hopes the pilot project will provide alternative transportation options to bring individuals leaving the correctional system closer to their desired final destination and existing support networks.
The City will be responsible for all costs associated with these transportation services and monitor the success of this pilot project on an ongoing basis, with the shuttle service anticipated to start in September 2023.
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