Barrie Community Life Centre - 817455439-Rr001

Barrie Community Life Centre -  817455439-Rr001 Support, teach and mentor the homeless, s*x trade workers, addicted and people with mental health issues, stop the cycle of poverty The Barrie Community Life Centre (herein referred to as the BCLC) is a structured training, education and mentoring charitable facility which enhances the quality of life of our community.

We provide basic life skills that our clients can apply in their daily lives which will assist them with obtaining employment, moving off of social assistance, obtaining housing and living an independent and healthy lifestyle. We will always strive to work with our partner support agencies to ensure that the level of care and assistance we offer to the community is provided in a professional and c

We provide basic life skills that our clients can apply in their daily lives which will assist them with obtaining employment, moving off of social assistance, obtaining housing and living an independent and healthy lifestyle. We will always strive to work with our partner support agencies to ensure that the level of care and assistance we offer to the community is provided in a professional and c

Late last week, the BNI Business Works - Chapter in Barrie & Innisfil came together to prepare and serve dinner for peop...

Late last week, the BNI Business Works - Chapter in Barrie & Innisfil came together to prepare and serve dinner for people who rely on the Salvation Army Barrie Bayside Mission Centre in Barrie. The group dedicated their afternoon and early evening to serve about 200 meals to the men and women who came though the door. The kitchen is a critical component for the downtown community and without the dedication of staff, volunteers and donors who keep it humming, daily meals for so many people would be non-existent or not affordable.

By the end of 2019, the kitchen expects to have served over 100,000 meals for the first time in their history. .

If there was one particular aspect of the evening that I think stuck out for the volunteers was the gratitude expressed by those who use the kitchen for their daily meals. Despite the lack of housing and employment, life with an addiction or a debilitating mental health issue, so many of those who ate would offer thanks to the volunteers and kitchen staff.

Thank you to Randy Spenceley, Kristian Robillard. Cindy Pollard and her daughter, Darren Murphy, Susan Elliott, Jim and Theresa Schefter and Jacqueline Ferguson for coming out. Both your personal and business support for the street community of Barrie is always appreciated and valued. It was a please spending the time together, looking forward for the next two volunteer dates.

Thank you to Geoff Cook and Kevin Joseph with the Kempenfelt Rotary Club for submitting the Barrie Community Life Centre...

Thank you to Geoff Cook and Kevin Joseph with the Kempenfelt Rotary Club for submitting the Barrie Community Life Centre as an agency of consideration to be awarded a $1,000 donation. The entire amount will go directly to people and families in need in Barrie, we will be sure to post where the money goes and how it will be used to support people who need a bit of help. Thank you Kevin and Geoff, the support is greatly appreciated.



One of our friends downtown has just gotten his own apartment after being without housing for an extended period. When he moves in later this week, he will be living on the floor as everything he owns is in his backpack. He sent me a list of items he would like, if anybody can help out, please let me know. Here's the list in his own words;

"Bed, pillows, bedding, dresser. Couch or love seat, chair, coffee table. Kitchen table chairs, there's no stove so Crock-Pot, hot plate, toaster oven, coffee pot, dishes. I know it's a lot but anything that you can possibly assist me with would be more than appreciated. Thanks for your time"

Thanks as always for the help. Ken.

Earlier today a whole lot of food was passed out to a few people in Barrie, none of which would have been possible had i...

Earlier today a whole lot of food was passed out to a few people in Barrie, none of which would have been possible had it not been for the help of two great women. Thanks to Krista Stephen - McNaney who organized a food drive through her Sign Edge ( business.

Thanks also to Lorraine Anderson (Betsy An) with the Firgrove Rec Centre for donating food that the centre had but couldn't use this weekend. The donations received from Krista and Lorraine allowed us to provide food for a week for two families, three men and three women in rooming houses, a couple who are between housing, another couple who are housed and three other men who are on the streets. Other items will also be distributed to tenants of two rooming houses this weekend.

Thank you Lorraine and Krista, your help is greatly appreciated and will feed over twenty people this week.
Finally, if anybody has any size 6 diapers (or wouldn't mind donating some) we have a family in need. Rent, food, utilities and day to day expenses are all leaving mom and dad short and their immediate need is diapers and wipes.
As always, thanks for helping the people in Barrie who need a hand. Ken.



I have been working with a guy in Barrie who is making the effort to get life back on track. He has a two bedroom apartment away from downtown and has custody of his 7 year old daughter, he's working consistently and has asked for some help to get their home outfitted as it's pretty bare right now. Here is a list of items needed, please pass it along as you can and share my contact info with anybody who can assist.

Coffee Maker
Toaster Oven
Tea Pot and kettle
Pots and pans
Silverware and dishes
Kitchen table set
End tables and coffee table
TV and tv stand
Bedroom dresser
Queen size sheets
Single size sheets
Towels and mats
Vanity shelf or cabinet
Mens size 10 shoes, 32 X 32 pants
Girls size 2
Clothing for a 7 year old girl who wears a large top and medium pants

And size 11 or 12 shoes for another man downtown

Thanks as always,


Elton John - Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (Yellow Brick Road 1 of 21)

A few hours ago, the downtown Barrie family lost a matriarch of sorts with the sudden passing of our very good friend Penny-Sammy Kavanagh. The Penny we know is survived by her best friend, her rock and her love, Budd.

Penny is known to many downtown for never turning away someone who was hungry or homeless, a person in need of warmth or a person in need of a laugh and a friend. Penny would text me (which was almost daily) asking if I could scrounge up one thing or another, more often than not, she was looking for items for somebody else. Penny was always on the hunt for clothes, boots, beds, jobs, connections, whomever she encountered in need, Penny made it her mission to help them out. Penny texted me yesterday and listed off a few things she was looking for and ended the message by saying "Also, how are u doing?

Penny was an artist who took immense pride in her paintings which were on display throughout her apartment. Some told a story of who Penny was and where she came from, some were funny, some were sassy and some were just bad ass. Maybe Penny's painting were just a simple reflection of who she was. She was proud of her life struggle and where she was now, she was entertaining, she had sass to sell and she certainly had inner bad ass that I would never mess with!

I don't know if Penny was a fan of Elton John or this song but I think this is how I will remember her and commemorate her. If you have some time this weekend, play this song for Penny. When the song is on, these few lines are for Penny and Budd;

I wonder if those changes
Have left a scar on you
Like all the burning hoops of fire
That you and I passed through
You're a bluebird on a telegraph line
I hope you're happy now
Well if the wind of change comes down your way girl
You'll make it back somehow

That's it Penny, you will be missed. Don't worry about Budd, his friends here for him...xoxo.

Download here: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [Bonus Tracks] 1973

Hello everybody, Back in November, we were posting info on families in Barrie who needed some help for the holidays and ...
Click here to support Family starting over organized by Gofamily

Hello everybody,

Back in November, we were posting info on families in Barrie who needed some help for the holidays and onward. With overwhelming support, we managed to stock up the fridges, stoves and cupboards for a lot of people for Christmas and into the new year. In addition to food, we received Christmas presents, furniture, appliances, if we asked for it, we got it.

One family in particular moved from a motel to a rental home and started out with a few blow up mattresses and the clothes on their backs. And now, thanks to continual support, we have been able to help them furnish the house and create a safe family space.

With a single parent and five kids, the need for basics doesn't end and to help out, Susan Elliott has created a GoFund me for the family. For those of you who wish to donate, please see the attached link. If anybody would wish to donate to The Barrie Community Life Centre with the money going to support the family directly, we can issue a tax receipt for that. Food donations are also important and we will direct all food and home essentials to the family. Thanks as always, and please direct any questions etc to Susan Elliott or myself.


We are a family that are starting over again. We owned our own home and went through a rough divorce and ended up without a home and having a hard time finding a home in the housing market. We spent our savings living in hotels and commuting which finally the wear and tear took its toll on our ve...

Thanks to Firgrove Rec Centre and Lorraine Anderson (Betsy) for passing out food that the centre received and won't be a...

Thanks to Firgrove Rec Centre and Lorraine Anderson (Betsy) for passing out food that the centre received and won't be able to use this weekend. Ensuring that nothing goes to waste, we have 7 trays and meat and veggies, 12 juice boxes, 48 trays of kids school snacks, 36 boxes of jello, two meat and cheese trays, two huge boxes of almonds, a bag of potatoes and a whole bunch of fresh butter tarts (one of which was taste tasted as part of quality control). All the food will go out today to feed 8 kids and 3 parents in Barrie, all of whom will now have food for school and home for the week. Thanks as always to Lorraine for her continual support.

If you have a chance, please read this article on homelessness and some of the challenges people face to obtain housing,...
Rents are high, shelters are full and 8,700 Torontonians are homeless

If you have a chance, please read this article on homelessness and some of the challenges people face to obtain housing, stay housed and how so many people can slip though the cracks and into homelessness.

To be honest, this is one of the best articles on the subject I have ever read. It's Torontocentric but the issues are just as relevant in Barrie.

In my opinion, the best few lines in the article are this paragraph;

"Ask people the reason they’re homeless, and most trace their situation back to the moment their back went out, the day they were evicted, the depression that set in after a loved one died. People talk about domestic abuse, struggles with mental health and addiction. For any individual, homelessness feels like the result of personal tragedy or personal failure, bad decisions or just bad luck. But misfortune and depression aren’t new. Mass homelessness is. It’s not a fact of nature or the logical consequence of a growing population, but a distinctly modern phenomenon—the result of economic changes and political decisions made within our lifetimes."

An investigation into an urban crisis


Hello everybody,
Last month, one of the families we were helping out for Christmas was able move from a hotel room to a rental home in Barrie. Mom and four kids took possession of the house with not much more than some clothes and a few inflatable mattresses. Through the generosity of our community, we were able to bring them food, Christmas gifts and decorations, a few small appliances and clothing for the holidays. Susan Elliott has compiled a thorough list of items still needed by the family as they settle into their new home and neighbourhood. If anyone is able to assist with these items, please let either Susan or myself know.
List of items still needed for family:
-two couches
-twin bed frame
-6 dressers for clothing storage
-bedside tables-pairs or singles for 7 bedrooms
-1 corner computer desk and chair
-any bookshelf units for living room and kids’ rooms-any size
-clean, neutral large area rug
-laptops, tablets, handheld devices that can be used with wifi (old iphone) to help with homework and messaging friends.
-FOOD-groceries will be an ongoing need for this family who are relying heavily on the food bank (which they have to get to on the other side of town on the bus), especially items for the kids to take for school lunches.
-toiletries such as shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, toilet paper (not urgent, as we have gotten them started, but will need in another month)
-funds to help replace lost documents-Mom needs to replace her health card, but can’t get one without birth certificate and drivers’ licence. (which she let lapse long ago because she didn’t have a car). I estimate this may cost around $200-$250, but is of the utmost importance. She will have to get her birth certificate first to get the ball rolling, then redo the written drivers’ licence test.
-clothing and shoe gift cards for the 4 youngest kids-I suggest old navy, zumiez, forever 21, H&M, sportchek, National sports, etc. I still need to get a list of sizes for everyone, so this would be easiest for now.
-clean linens such as towels, sheet sets, extra pillow cases, dish towels and dish cloths
-cookie sheet/flat baking pan (currently using aluminum foil one)
-large casserole dish
-plastic food storage containers with lids
-sturdy glassware
And I forgot to add, 2 large plastic outdoor garbage cans with lids-a squirrel has been getting into the garbage! And there is no garage.


Since we seem to be on a roll this Christmas, it might be a good time to add some requests for a couple of men I know who need a bit of a hand. It looks like we will be able to bring Christmas to five families and the goal of reaching 100ish people on the streets and rooming house is getting closer. These two men are a bit of a late add on, but if you don't ask, you don't get.
The first young man is in his early 20's, lives in Toronto and has had a bit of a rough go so far but despite that, he's trying his hardest, making good choices, reaching out for help when he needs it and has a vision of where his life will be in a few years. He is enrolled in a college that offers adults opportunities to complete high school and has also submitted an application to begin post-secondary studies as soon as he is has completed his Grade 12. As he told me yesterday, being accepted into both schools is a real source of pride for him as it is an achievement that he accomplished himself. He lives in a community which has its challenges but he is rising above them and working towards better days.
While is he taking courses, he is taking up labour jobs to pay his courses and help out with rent and food and that sort of thing. I spent a few hours with him on Friday to see where he's at and asked if there was anything we could help out with to ensure he has what he needs to succeed in school. With a lot of reluctance, I managed to squeeze a few ideas from him, here they are;
- A laptop for school, used is perfect, something that he can work with and keep up with the other adult students.
- A XL work coat that can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor work and a construction type environment.
Our second man is in his 50's and lives in Barrie, or nearby at least. About 20 years ago, his teenage daughter was s*xually assaulted and murdered while out for the night. When that tragedy took place, my friend was something of an expert in his profession and by all accounts, he and his family had a pretty good life. Since the loss of his daughter, he has lost his family, his career and his life. Addictions and incarceration have become the norm, isolation from family and friends escalated and for the last few years he has been homeless for extended periods. To get this guy to accept something as simple as a pack of smokes or a coat is difficult, he generally declines the help as he tells me that he is getting things on track and will soon be able to look after himself. I'm hopeful that he will reach that point again but until then, he needs a bit of help to get there. Once again, getting a list of items he needs was difficult but I did manage to get a few ideas from him; Large winter coat, pants with a 32 waist, size 9 shoes or boots and perhaps most importantly, a job. A few months ago, he was working for a company that hired him as a "jack of all trades" kind of guy, it was all going well but the company downsized and he lost his spot.
If anybody is interest in helping out with either of these two fine gentlemen, please let me know. Thanks...Ken.


Hello everybody. We have two weeks left for before we head out to bring a little bit of Christmas, community and companionship to our friends in rooming houses and on the streets of Barrie. Most years, we are able to use about $1,000 to buy new coats and boots for as many people as we can. Cash donations have been a little tight this year so our focus will be on food, hygiene and other essentials. If anybody has used winter coats, snow pants and boots in excellent condition, please get in touch with either Susan Elliott or myself and we will be happy to collect them to donate. To donate, arrange delivery or pick up or to ask questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Thanks....Ken.


Hello, as the support for this year’s Christmas campaign has been so strong, I am going to get a little ambitious and increase the families we support from two to four. Last week I sent out information for Family #1 and Family #2, in addition to them, I have added Family #3 and Family #4, each family has supplied a brief story about their situation and what they are in need of. If anybody is able to assist, please let us know. A couple of years ago, I posted information to support a family and a complete stranger popped up out of the blue and was instrumental in outfitting a three bedroom apartment and provisions for a family for Christmas and a long time after. This year, Susan Elliott will be taking care of everything to do with the families. Susan can be reached at [email protected] or on her cell at 705-321-6024. For those of you who have contacted me for offers of support already, I will be updating Susan to allow her to organize everything so it’s ready for Christmas. Thanks as always for the support.

Family #1

Hello I'm a single mom going through some struggles. My 22 year old son has Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus and kidney failure, his kidney function has dropped to 8 %, he has been on kidney dialysis for 2 months now. I have gone through all my savings, we have modified our spending where is was needed and I was able to. I am working on getting my drivers license to hopefully be able to get him to dialysis three times a week but right now, my money goes to the cost of taxi's to get him back and forth. My son isn’t able to come upstairs to his bedroom and spends his time in the living room of our rental home. He spends his time watching TV, the current one we have is 12 years old and isn’t working properly anymore. Our family Christmas list would include the following;
- Our couch is second hand and in bad shape. This is where my son sleeps as he can’t come upstairs. A newer couch with a pull out would be great for him as he uses it every night
- A reclining chair to give him another option to sit outside of his wheelchair
- Pots, pans and a food mixer to allow me to better prepare his meals that meet his dietary needs
- A dog bed for his dog
- A tv that works
- A gaming system, he has asked for an X Box
I'm not one to ask for help, I'm one that will save and get the next thing needed. Winter is the hardest time for us as we can’t get around. Thank you.

Family #2

I am a mother of 3 beautiful girls’ ages 18 months, 4 and 6 years old. My husband and I have gone through a lot in the past year, between my husband losing his job to having our car repossessed. I work from home, my husband has started back to work but our income barely covers rent/utilities and food, I am not one to ask for help but I don’t know what else to do.
Our Christmas wish list for our daughters includes the following: -Clothing sizes 7-8, 5-6 and 18-24 months. Winter clothing, a double stroller cover to keep the snow off of the baby, any kind of artistic kit for beading, crafts, painting etc, the older girls like Paw Patrol of Princess Sophia and Hatchimals.
For the family, groceries or cards to buy food as Christmas passes would be appreciated.
Honestly the kids are the most important thing, but a date night for mom and dad to the movies would be amazing we haven’t had time away from the kids in 2 years.

Family #3

Hello, we are a family of five, this is our story. I was in a motor vehicle accident in 2012, I was enrolled in post-secondary studies to be a social worker when I was rear-ended which left my arm injured and I have been unable to get back to work successfully since. My husband immigrated to Canada after I did and has applied for Humanitarian Compassion status to remain with us, we have been together since 2009.
I am under medical care, I am seeing doctors as requested but I am still dealing with my injuries. My husband hasn’t been able to work officially as he is still waiting for his immigration status to be finalized which is very difficult on him. Last December we moved to Barrie from Northern Ontario to allow our daughter more help with her autism which also makes things more difficult as she is eight years old. She is still in pull-ups, we go through excessive amounts of clothes, from odour and stains, and this has taken quite the toll on us. Our other children are a 10 year old boy and a 3 1/2 year old daughter. We would normally not ask as usually even though we have it tough we still give.
If anybody is able to assist us, my son 10 is size 10 pants 12-14 tops he would like Pokémon stuff. Our 8 year old daughter is size 7 pants 8-10 tops, She like Hatchimals, unicorns and books. Our 3 ½ daughter is size 4 bottom 4-5 tops, she like books that are age appropriate, Paw Patrol and Vamparina. We would also be interested in home décor stuff as we don’t have much. We are in need of bedroom furniture for our 8 year old daughter, diapers for her and food for the family. I am in need of XL clothing, my husband and I have never really been on a date as everything is about our children we are always with them. Our medical bills and kids needs take up the money we have every month. Thanks in advance.

Family #4

Hi I'm a single mother of 2 children, a 22 year old girl and 18 year old boy. I also care for my 4 month old granddaughter. My daughter and her boyfriend are struggling to pay their bills and pay for the needs of their daughter. My son has ADHD and seizures so anything will help at this time even if it's just a gift card it will help out we're also in low income housing. If anybody is able to assist, our needs are as follows, My 18 year old son needs socks and hygiene items, he loves Tim Hortons and likes the Ottawa Senators. My granddaughter needs bedding, a crib, size 3 diapers, a highchair, a saucer, and Nestle Good Start 1 Probiotic powdered formula. My 22 year old daughter is in need of hygiene items, she’s also a fan of Tim’s and she like Vancouver Canucks items. I am in need of bedding for a queen size bed, I also need hygiene items, socks and I am a Leafs fan, Tim Hortons is also a favourite of mine. We have cats as pets, food and litter would be very helpful. Food and cleaning supplies for the family are also needed and would be appreciated. Thank you all very much.


Main Street
Barrie, ON


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Hello, Do you accept donations other than food? Furniture? Beds? We have a very good & clean condition California King Size Simmons Beautyrest Westminister to donate here or if someone knows another organization that accepts larger goods. thx Tom
Thanks to Terry and Brendan with the Barrie Road Runners for organizing this fun run which will take place as the same time we are downtown passing out or donations. We have received donations from this run in the past and each year all money has been used to help out our friends in rooming houses and on the streets of Barrie. Thanks to all the Santa's taking part and see you on Saturday.