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County and Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle partner to provide support services for Indigenous individuals

Midhurst/November 23, 2023 – The County of Simcoe and the Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle (BANAC) are partnering to provide Indigenous services and supports across the region to foster stronger relationships and to enhance access to culturally appropriate supports for our Indigenous residents.

In it’s commitment to enhance supports for individuals with high-needs who are living unhoused in communities throughout Simcoe County, the County is dedicating 5% of provincial Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) funding, totalling  $440,082.00, and 8% of federal Reaching Home (RH) funding, totalling $210,554.28, to Indigenous service providers.

In 2024, the County’s Social and Community Services Division will develop a formal framework, focusing on collaborative work with our Indigenous partners, built upon the commitments of Truth and Reconciliation.

About the Naadamaadiwag-Helping Each Other Program

BANAC’s Naadamaadiwag-Helping Each Other Program, which began on September 1st, offers culturally-appropriate support for Indigenous individuals who find themselves unhoused. The project will assist Indigenous people at risk of, or experiencing homelessness in Simcoe County by providing housing and support services that reduce and prevent chronic homeless. The project is a multi-partner collaboration among three Indigenous agencies: Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle (BANAC), Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association (GBNWA), and Biminaawzogin Regional Aboriginal Women’s Circle (BRAWC).

Naadamaadiwag-Helping Each Other, is the first point of contact for Indigenous people experiencing homelessness, and provides direct supports including referrals to services, community outreach and food security programs, basic needs, wellness checks, pre-discharge planning from provincial institutions, and coordination of case management and referrals for people on the Coordinated Access By-Name list. Naadamaadiwag-Helping Each Other, provides Indigenous people with direct cultural connections, increased sense of belonging in the community, and supports to access traditional or culturally sensitive healing services.

Naadamaadiwag-Helping Each Other, will also develop and implement an Indigenous Housing Coalition which will adopt a proactive approach to homelessness for Indigenous people. The coalition will review best practices, education, awareness, advocacy and collection of data.

About the County’s 10-point homelessness prevention strategy

The plan provides a strong, data-driven strategy to help vulnerable residents and our communities. It includes considerable added investment, enhancements, and support for the unhoused population in our communities.

The plan takes a collaborative approach to building up communities, service providers, the business community, and residents. Through this strategy, the County continues to work collaboratively with partners and municipalities to continue to prevent and end chronic homelessness. For further details and ongoing updates to the homelessness prevention plan, visit <<< Add Link to {Page Name}>>>.

About the County of Simcoe

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at


“It is crucial to County Council that we continue to support our friends and partners in Indigenous communities throughout the region. This funding to assist BANAC’s Naadamaadiwag-Helping Each Other Program is truly important for not only the individuals that are being served today, but for all of those in the future who may find themselves unhoused. This collaboration between BANAC and the County solidifies a people first approach and ensures that no one is left out in the cold this winter.” 
~ Warden Basil Clarke, County of Simcoe

“On behalf of the Biminaawzogin Regional Aboriginal Women’s Circle (BRAWC) and the Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association, the Barrie Area Native Advisory is pleased to announce our multi collaboration that will assist Indigenous people experiencing homelessness and deliver direct community outreach and support services. This collaboration will allow greater opportunity through establishing an Indigenous access point and providing culturally appropriate supports across Simcoe County.

We are thrilled about this project. Being able to expand our services through this investment will address and provide real time help to Indigenous homeless people, which is very much needed.”
~ Amanda Maynard, Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle​​

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Andrea Walasek
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
249-535-3511 (mobile)

Collin Matanowitsch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
705-734-8386 (mobile)​ ​​​​