The David Busby Centre is looking to bring more paid staff members on board as the cold weather hits during COVID-19 and the organization deals with issues it has never seen before.
Executive director Sara Peddle said the organization, which is located in downtown Barrie and assists with those experiencing homelessness and poverty, is definitely feeling the effects of homelessness in a COVID world.
The Busby Centre is also part of the task force operating Collingwood Out of the Cold.
“We love our staff and the work they have been doing, but we need more because the ones we have need a rest,” said Peddle. “We need more to help the ones we have, but also to help with the numbers of people needing help.”
They are looking for 12 to 15 people for their Barrie and Collingwood locations and need those with a background in health care and the social services community.
“We are hoping for some people with experience in what we deal with, because it isn’t just homelessness,” Peddle said. “We are in an opioid crisis as well as a COVID one. There are increased mental health and addictions issues in our community because of the state of the world.”
The coldest weather is yet to come in the next few weeks, and while the Busby Centre would normally be cramming people looking for warmth into their Mulcaster Street building, that can’t happen right now.
“We obviously closed the Mulcaster location at the start of this (pandemic), but a year ago our guests would have been shoulder-to-shoulder, having coffee and getting warm,” Peddle said. “They can’t do that now. They can’t just pop in somewhere and get the chill out before heading back out.”
There are currently around 110 people in the appropriate shelters, with anywhere from 40 to 50 more needing immediate help.
“This is not as it was pre-COVID. There are so many more elements to what we do and how people get help,” said Peddle. “We’re keeping upbeat, keeping positive, but there is a need for help. We need to increase capacity space and staff as we are currently seeing the pressure points being hit.”
If you would like to be a staff member with the David Busby Centre, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head to their website by clicking here for any more information.