Riverside Park Gazebo may soon serve breakfast

Riverside Park Gazebo may soon serve breakfast

“We serve so many people every morning, so there is a need. We need to. We can’t say no,” says the adviser. Natalie Harris

A breakfast program for the homeless in Barrie could spend a few mornings at the Heritage Park gazebo.

City councilors approved a motion on Monday night for Ryan’s Hope to be allowed to operate its Breakfast to Go program there every day from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., for a one-year trial period.

Com. Natalie Harris said the location would be a backup in case the current location, outside Collier Street United Church, is unavailable in the short or long term.

“In summer, it feeds up to 130 individuals in an hour. In winter, it is also between 20 and 50 people. It’s mainly to feed the homeless,” she said of Ryan’s Hope. “It’s literally a counter… with baskets of food that everyone can use on foot. There is no processing to get permission to be there.

“We serve so many people every morning, so there is a need. We need to. We can’t say no,” Harris added.

“We’re basically giving a food truck permission to be there, only there’s no truck and it’s free,” Coun said. Sergio Morales.

“People accessing this breakfast are people, period,” the adviser said. Keenan Aylwin, representing downtown. “They are members of the community, they are our neighbours. They are worthy of dignity. Everyone deserves dignity, period.

Only Com. Mike McCann opposed the motion.

“I don’t think it’s a suitable place,” he said. “This location is going to have a daily impact on thousands of people. I want the public to know that I’m firmly against this place, but I’m not against helping them (the homeless). »

McCann asked that the motion be deferred until Simcoe County makes a presentation to city council on the social services it provides, which includes helping the homeless. This presentation is planned for this spring.

The Ward 10 Councilor wants information about other organizations that help the homeless and how these organizations work together for the common cause.

“I just find there are a number of different avenues when we approach homelessness and it doesn’t work because we have more homeless people,” McCann said.

His motion to postpone is lost.

“I don’t think we should postpone this, because we can’t just postpone homelessness,” Coun said. Claire Riepma. “It’s there and I think we have to deal with it.”

City Council will consider final approval of this motion at its March 28 meeting.

Ryan’s Hope would be responsible for ensuring that all trash, paper or plastic products, cans, trash, food, clothing or other debris associated with the Breakfast to Go program are collected and removed from city property at the end of every daily operation.

Any community events reserved for the Heritage Park gazebo would prevent its use by Ryan’s Hope.

He would also provide a certificate of insurance in the amount of $5 million, naming the City of Barrie as an additional insured. The city would negotiate an agreement with Ryan’s Hope to define the respective responsibilities of each person associated with the use of the gazebo as part of the Breakfast to Go program.

Ryan’s Hope Breakfast-To-Go program was launched in February 2021 by Christine Nayler and her husband, Tom. He advocates and supports people living with mental illness, addiction and homelessness.

Ryan Nayler, 34, died of toxic drug poisoning in November 2020. He had mental health issues as well as substance abuse, including methamphetamine.

From January 23-25, Simcoe County had 722 homeless people in Simcoe County. Of these 722 people, 441 completed surveys and 50% of the 441 people were from Barrie.