Introduction The Breakfast-To-Go program started on February 15th with me, my husband Tom, a box of Tim Horton’s coffee, some muffins, and fresh fruit. We started it as a way to honour our son who recently passed away due to a toxic drug poisoning and to support those in our community that were struggling. We started the program to fill a gap in service due to the pandemic when the Busby Centre breakfast program closed down. We soon realized the need was greater than we thought and we recruited our church (Burton Ave United) to help out. The program is now one of the many programs supported by the Outreach ministry at Burton Avenue United Church. Since then our program has grown to become a true community collaboration of neighbours helping neighbours. There are now a total of 5 churches, several community service agencies, and over 30 community volunteers involved in our program including a city councillor!
We serve a healthy breakfast 7 days a week to an average of 60 people per morning in downtown Barrie (currently outside of Collier St. United). We also provide clothing and other basic items as needed and requested. Originally we thought that our program would run through the winter months only but with more people coming into homelessness the need grows and we are serving more people each week.
The Breakfast-To-Go program is the first initiative of Ryan’s Hope, a community organization we started in Ryan’s honour to advocate for and support people living with mental illness, substance use issues, and experiencing homelessness. Christine Nayler, Program Coordinator
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