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Community Services

We are committed to:

  • addressing poverty and homelessness issues in Simcoe County;
  • achieving more seamless and integrated services for individuals, youth and families being impacted by poverty and homelessness through strong community partnerships​

Homelessness Prevention

Through community partnerships and service provider agreements​, the County of Simcoe has been able to achieve a more seamless and integrated service for individuals, youth, and families being impacted by homelessness in Simcoe County. Partnership initiatives continuously address the following core service delivery element:

  • To move people from the street into emergency shelters
  • To move people from emergency shelters into permanent accommodations
  • To prevent homelessness by helping people who are at risk​ of losing permanent housing ​

Learn more about supports and services

CA (Coordinated Access) is a process, not a program. A CA system is one by which individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness are directed to access points within the community. At these access points, trained workers will use a common approach (including common intake forms and common assessment tools) to assess the depth of need and help them complete the process that will prioritize them for housing support services. Clients will be matched to housing focused interventions in the community.

If you are actively experiencing homelessness, please click here to see the following Organizations that serve as AccessPoints in the Coordinated Access System in Simcoe County:

For information on the Shelter System, Winter Sheltering and Warming Centres, click here.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The County of Simcoe has recently introduced new dashboards to support its 10-point Homelessness Prevention Strategy and further assist people in need in our communities. For access to real-time shelter usage data that reflect the ever-changing needs of our homelessness prevention system, visit​.

​The County of Simcoe’s 10-point homelessness prevention strategy creates a strong, data-driven strategy to help the most vulnerable in our communities through initiatives that have been proven effective in other regions. Infosheet - homelessness 10 point plan.jpgThis strategy makes affordable housing even more attainable by increasing supply, creating “deep rent subsidies”, increasing eviction prevention services, and improving available shelter. It commits the County to find new opportunities, enhance community shelter services, and improve safety throughout the community.

The goals use proven methods that create a safer community for all, with the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness at the forefront. They take a collaborative approach to build up communities, understanding the important relationship that is established when working together with all levels of government, service providers, the business community, and residents from all walks of life.​

This is just one more way that the County is #BuildingUp our communities. For updates on the how the County of Simcoe is investing in our communities, visit​​

​​Available Services​​

Should you have any questions regarding homelessness supports and services in Simcoe County, please contact the Community Services department at​ or 705-722-3132, ext. 1470. ​


Shelter System

Local shelters and service providers deliver and manage homelessness prevention services and operations. While the shelter system is publicly funded, local shelters are not directly operated by the County of Simcoe. Emergency homeless shelters in Simcoe County include: 

  • Elizabeth Fry Society, serving women and gender diverse – Barrie 
  • La Maison Rosewood Shelter, serving women and children – Midland
  • Salvation Army Bayside Mission, serving men – Barrie
  • S.H.I.F.T. – Alliston
  • The Busby Centre – Barrie
  • The Busby Centre – Collingwood
  • The Guesthouse – Midland
  • The Lighthouse – Orillia
  • Youth Haven, serving youth ages 16 to 24 years old – Barrie  

For detailed information on Barrie-area shelters, please see the following documents:

​To access a shelter program, contact 211 for assistance or contact the shelter in your local community directly.​​​

Street Outreach

Enhanced street outreach services provide outreach to those experiencing homelessness 365 days a year, seven days a week, with increased emphasis during extreme winter temperatures. Outreach teams offer a range of services to those who are vulnerable and who may not otherwise access shelters.  Outreach teams facilitate access to shelter or respite beds in addition to offering individualized supports to help with accessing a range of services such as income supports, mental health and addiction services, health care services and assisting individuals to develop plans to transition from to more permanent housing options. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The County of Simcoe provides a Social and Community Investment Fund (SCIF) to help local organizations develop community-based initiatives that address poverty. SCIF is intended to provide opportunities for low-income families and individuals through community programs.

The goals of the SCIF program are:

  1. To support external programs that address services for low-income families and individuals, particularly those in receipt of social assistance, and 
  2. To address pressures identified in the social service sector.​ 

​2024 SCIF Application Information:​

2024 SCIF Application Form

2024- Social and Community Investment Fund (SCIF) Application-QR-Code.png 

Community support letter and budget spreadsheet must be submitted as separate documents to the online application. Submissions are to be emailed to

2024 SCIF budget worksheet.xlsx

Application due date: August 24, 2023

​​​Learn more about the ​

SCIF Projects Awarded in 2023
SCIF Projects Awarded​ in 2022
SCIF Projects Awarded​ in 2021
SCIF Projects Awarded in 2020 and
  SCIF Bulletin 2020
SCIF Projects Awarded in 2019 and,
  SCIF Bulletin 2019 
SCIF Projects Awarded in 2018​ and,
  SCIF Bulletin 2018
SCIF Projects Awarded in 2017 and,
  SCIF Bulletin 2017
​​​SCIF Bulletin 2016  
SCIF Projects Awarded in 2015
SCIF Projects Awarded in 2014
SCIF Projects Awarded in 2013
SCIF Projects Awarded in 2012

For further information please email:

The Business Intelligence and System Planning Department

Emergency shelters provide lodging and personal needs to people experiencing homelessness on a short term basis. Emergency shelter services are used by individuals in crisis, needing temporary housing and support. Residents of an emergency shelter may or may not be recipients of social assistance. Residents of an emergency shelter may be eligible to receive such benefits as a personal needs allowance, drug card and other support services while residing in the shelter.  Learn more about the County of Simcoe’s Emergency Shelter Standards​.

​The County of Simcoe funds the position of the Food Coordinator of the Simcoe County Food Council through the Social and Community Investment Fund (SCIF). The Food Coordinator supports the community efforts of the Food Council. ​​​​​​​

The community-based Simcoe County Food Council (Food Council) will further coordination and  collaboration of efforts, programs, and initiatives, to enhance community food security and decrease household food insecurity in Simcoe County. The Food Council will use the Simcoe  County Food Security Framework (Framework) as a guide and menu of proposed actions items  to support and advance.  


In 2017, the County of Simcoe approved funding to support the development of a Simcoe County Food Security Framework. A Food Security Framework Advisory Committee was developed, comprised of community members and County staff. The firm of Eco-Ethonomics Inc. was contracted to undertake broad community consultation to develop the Framework.

​Recommendations from the Simcoe County Food Security Framework included the development of a Simcoe County Food Council and the engagement of a community agency to host a related Community Coordinator position. The Food Council, led by the Community Coordinator, supports coordination and collaboration of food security efforts, programs, and initiatives, and leverages existing networks to better connect partners across Simcoe County.​


The Food Council envisions a sustainable, equitable, and secure local food system in Simcoe County that  recognizes food as a human right. It is an inter-connected food system where safe, sufficient,  nutritious, culturally appropriate food is financially and physically accessible to everyone through dignified means, and where the people are actively working toward realizing a more food secure  Simcoe County. 

Simcoe County Food Security Framework Goals

The Simcoe County Food Security Framework is a blueprint of proposed action items to achieve the Food Council’s​​ goal for a food secure and sustainable Simcoe County. Goals focus on the following areas:

  1. Household food insecurity in Simcoe County 
  2. Support income and housing solutions
  3. Increase physical access to sufficient nutritious food for all
  4. Improve community food literacy
  5. Support the local agri-food sector 
  6. Foster Simcoe County’s food traditions and Indigenous food knowledge and culture
  7. Collaboration toward a food secure Simcoe County 

Household Food Insecurity and Community Food Security

Two important but distinct concepts that impact the Food Council’s ability to be a food secure community. Both of these measures need to be addressed in the work the Food Council is doing.

Household Food Insecurity:

Household food insecurity is experienced when an individual or household lacks the financial resources to access food. Addressing household food insecurity requires specific income-related interventions.​

Learn more about reducing household food insecurity:

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

No Money for Food is Cent$less 

Community Food Security:​

Community food security is a condition in which all community residents have access to a safe, culturally appropriate, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice.

Key Documents

Simcoe County Food and Agriculture Charter ​

Simcoe County Food Security Framework (CCW 2019-086)

 SCFC Infographic 

​For more information about the Simcoe County Food Council and how it supports the community, contact:  

The Food Council website can be found here:  

The County of Simcoe Domiciliary Care Services are designed to provide permanent housing for vulnerable at risk individuals who are economically disadvantaged and who have significant health problems that require support for activities of daily living. County of Simcoe contracted Domiciliary Care Service Providers are located throughout Simcoe County. 

Housing Retention is a Program funded by the Homeless Prevention Program Prevention (HPP) that aims to prevent or end homelessness by improving access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing and homelessness services for people experiencing homelessness and for people at-risk of homelessness. Every circumstance is unique and is assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine the right combination of interventions/assistance to support success. 

A combined maximum of $2000.00 for singles/​couples and $4000.00 for families in a 24-month period may be available for one or more of the interventions – First or Last Month’s Rent, Moving Expenses, Rental/Utility Arrears.

How to Apply

For individuals in receipt of Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support (ODSP) or Individuals or families that are low-income and not in receipt of Social Assistance can apply over the phone by contacting the Ontario Works office (705)-722-3132 x1833.​

The Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness (SCATEH) is a coalition of over 70 community stakeholders and front line workers who are committed to developing and implementing strategies that will eliminate homelessness. The Alliance serves as a forum to understand, plan and co-ordinate activities that raise awareness of the complex issues surrounding homelessness and to create solutions.

Learn more on the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness website.

What is Reaching Home?

Reaching H​ome​: The Government of ​​Canada’s Homelessness Strategy is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada by providing funding to local communities to help them address their local homelessness needs.

The Community Advisory Board (CAB) is the local organizing committee responsible for setting direction for addressing homelessness in the community or region.

In Simcoe County, the Designated Communities stream of Reaching Home funding is administered by the County of Simcoe, as the Community Entity (CE), covering the geographic area of Simcoe County.

How to apply for Designated Communities funding in Simcoe County

Organizations within Simcoe County can apply for Reaching Home Designated Community funding through the County of Simcoe, as the Community Entity, to support the priorities identified in the Barrie-Simcoe Community Plan 2019-2024.

The Allocations Subcommittee of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) assesses and recommends projects for funding.​

 Additional R​esources​

For further information please contact  the Community Services Department at 705-722-3132 or by email at

​​​​​​​​​​​​​HIFIS (Homeless Individuals and Families Information System) is a voluntary information system provided by Infrastructure Canada and is a community-level data collection and case management information system. 

Anonymous data from HIFIS is used nationally for the National Shelter Study and the Shelter Capacity Report. It is also used locally to gain a better understanding of the issues of homelessness in Simcoe County,​ and to better plan for services and initiatives. At the service provider level, data from HIFIS is used for case management, helping front-line staff provide coordinated services and reduce duplication for HIFIS clients. 

In Simcoe County, HIFIS project development and operations are led in partnership by the Children and Community Services and Information Technology departments, with input from service provider representatives known as Super Users. 

2021 Update​​​​

​​In 2021, HIFIS continued to concentrate on operations, with focus on front-end user training (i.e. service provider staff), policies and procedures, data quality, and reporting. In December 2021, there was a significant HIFIS upgrade from version 4.58 to 4.59, creating future opportunities to utilize the system.

  • ​14,280 client files (2,366 new files in 2021)
  • 233 active HIFIS users (113 new users joined in 2021)
  • 32 agencies (1 new agency joined)
  • 23 virtual training sessions 
  • 2,641 HIFIS Help Desk requests/support
  • 36 HIFIS reports available to users (1 new report released in 2021)

2020 Update​​​​

​The focus for HIFIS in 2020 continued to be project development and refining HIFIS operations. Project development focussed on the development of reports from HIFIS, and HIFIS operations focused on training with front-end users (i.e., service provider staff), data quality,​ and policy and procedures.

  • 12,138 client files (2638 new files in 2020)
  • 251 active HIFIS users (94 new users joined in 2020)
  • 31 agencies (5 new joined in 2020)
  • 29 virtual training sessions since June 2020
  • ​1965 HIFIS Help Desk requests/support​
  • ​35 HIFIS reports available to HIFIS users (28 new reports released in 2020) ​​​

2019 Update​

In 2019, the County​​ of Simcoe launched HIFIS with its funded service providers in the homelessness sectorspecifically with the following programs: Housing Support, Housing First, Emergency Shelter, Motel Voucher, and Transitional Housing  

The following ​​​milestones were achieved in 2019: 

  • 9500+ client files 
  • 201 active HIFIS users 
  • 26 agencies ​
  • 11 in-person training sessions ​

​​​More information about HIFIS can be found at: 

For further information please contact the County of Simcoe HIFIS team by email at​.

The Homelessness Prevention Program is a result of the consolidation of funding from three Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing programs; Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI), Home for Good (HFG) and the Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program into one new program under a single policy and accountability framework. The objective of the program is to support Service Managers in preventing, addressing and reducing homelessness, including chronic homelessness. 

The overall vision of the HPP is to provide Service Managers with the resources needed to establish a coordinated housing and homelessness system in each community so that:

People at risk of or experiencing homelessness have the housing and support services that they need to retain and/or obtain stable housing and achieve better outcomes.

The three key program outcomes of HPP are:

  1. People at risk of homelessness remain housed and have connections to support services. 
  2. People who are homeless and chronically homeless obtain and retain housing and support services. 
  3. Reduction in chronic homelessness. 

More information about addressing homelessness can be found on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website: