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S.H.I.F.T moving shelter services to year-round operations

August 17, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Support and Hope for Individuals and Families Today (S.H.I.F.T) has announced that they will be moving to a year-round shelter model at the start of next month.

S.H.I.F.T. provides lifesaving support to youth, adults, and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness and food insecurity. This includes shelter, drop-in, outreach, housing, and social service-related support. S.H.I.F.T is the only organization of its kind serving the South Simcoe area.

The new year-round shelter can accommodate up to ten individuals experiencing homelessness and will start Sep. 1.

Those experiencing or at risk of homelessness are, and will continue to be, supported by the S.H.I.F.T Street & Community Outreach team.

“It was vital that we move our shelter and drop-in programming to year-round operations,” said S.H.I.F.T executive director Jenifer Pergentile. 

“Other shelters in other communities must prioritize services for those who have lived, or are living, in their communities and unfortunately often have to turn people away. We are pleased that there will finally be a place for people to sleep during the warmer months because homelessness does not end with winter; it’s not a seasonal issue.”

S.H.I.F.T has provided six seasons of winter-based shelter operations. Over the years, it has become increasingly apparent that these programs should move to a year-round model to better support the needs of those experiencing homelessness in South Simcoe.

Moving forward, the County of Simcoe has initiated a service contract to support the year-round emergency shelter program as the population of those experiencing homelessness has significantly increased over the years and continues to grow.

“While we know that affordable housing is the key, we know that affordable housing, or the lack there of, is an on-going issue and in the meantime, being able to provide shelter to those experiencing homelessness while assisting them to find and move into safe sustainable housing is something we are proud to be able to provide year-round,” said Ms. Pergentile.

Support from the community is vital to help S.H.I.F.T. do its work.

“Community support is truly welcomed, and needed, as our numbers continue to grow,” said Candace Gordon, S.H.I.F.T. Donor Relations and Stewardship Officer. “Community fundraising will be required to help ensure operations continue year-round and no donation is too small. We have such a strong community full of very caring and generous people, and that gives us hope.”

S.H.I.F.T held an open house on Aug. 12, at their location at 123 Victoria Street W., in Alliston.


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