This weekend, we implemented a Business Continuity Plan for the Out of The Cold emergency shelter.

A new shelter model will enhance prevention strategies for the coronavirus pandemic. It will enable us to provide additional supports for guests due to the closing of all public inside spaces and the extraordinary limitations to access most services and programs, including washrooms and hand washing facilities.

It is a hybrid model which involves utilizing motel rooms to ensure separation of shelter guests, while still maintaining our base operations at 250 Peel Street. At this location we continue to provide intake of new guests each day from 7-9 pm, along with meal preparation and distribution to our guests at the motel.

As of this weekend, seven guests have been relocated. We will not release the name of the motel, both for guest privacy and to prevent confusion for new shelter guests and service providers making referrals. The amazing motel operator is working with us to ensure we can provide the best virus prevention care to all guests.

During this health emergency, the County of Simcoe will be covering the cost of motel rooms for all emergency shelters in Simcoe County. We continue to have incredible support from the Town of Collingwood staff and council members. Right now, we expect the shelter will remain in operation past our scheduled closing date of April 25th, until the emergency is over. This will create additional costs for our program.

I continue to be amazed by our shelter team, who keep our program strong, and go over and above expectations in very difficult circumstances. Our volunteer task force led by Marg Scheben-Edey, are amazing cheerleaders and the behind the scene doers, making all things tick.

As our shelter needs can change rapidly, the best way the public can help is through online financial donations, or by mailing a cheque to Community Connection (275 First Street, PO Box 683, Collingwood, L9Y 4E8). A link to online donations is here:

We are all in this together,
Pamela Hillier, Executive Director
Community Connection