top of page
Joyce Kope House 


Joyce Kope House is the agency’s 25 bed transition house and shelter, located in Barrie, Ontario. It is the only Community Residential Facility (halfway house) north of Toronto for federally and provincially sentenced women and gender diverse individuals 18 years of age and over. Our facility provides participants the opportunity to live and work in the community during a period of homelessness, transitioning from intuitions of while being supervised on bail, probation or parole.


On average, Joyce Kope House provides shelters to over 400 individuals each year;

operating from trauma-informed, harm reduction and housing first principles.


Referrals to Joyce Kope House can come from:

-       Family, friends of self

-       Correctional instructions; discharge planners or bail, probation or parole officers

-       Other shelters

-       Mental health or treatment facilities/withdrawal management centres

-       Street outreach staff

-       Hospitals

-       Community agencies

-       Courts, police officers


While residing at Joyce Kope House, participants have access to onsite housing focused case-management, mental health and harm reduction supports, crisis support, safety planning and court support.


Joyce Kope (1932-2001) House is named after one of the agency’s co-founders who has since passed away.

Who is Joyce Kope:


While living in Lindsay, Ontario Joyce became aware of the Lindsay Girls’ Training School. She befriended a young lady with a troubled background and it was arranged for her to live with the Kope family. So began Joyce’s life of helping others. In 1988 Joyce decided that Barrie would be a good location for a half-way house. The Elizabeth Fry Society of Simcoe County (since renamed Elizabeth Fry Society Simcoe Muskoka) was born in 1989 and by August 1995 the half-way house took in its first resident.


Joyce was diagnosed with cancer in February 2000 and passed away in January 2001. She left a legacy with her compassion and deep interest in women in conflict with the law. As co-founder her early work paved the way for the programs and services the agency operates today.


Due to the increase in demand for beds for women, an extensive expansion was undertaken in 2002 and the new shelter was unveiled on December 5th, 2002. The agency dedicated the shelter and renamed it the “Joyce Kope House” (previously named Maple House), in Joyce’s honour. One of the last notations in Joyce’s diary read, “I am satisfied that the seeds I planted have been nurtured and bloomed.” Joyce’s memory and compassion will continue to live on in the work done at Joyce Kope House now and in the future.

Alex's Place

Alex’s Place, operated by Elizabeth Fry Society Simcoe Muskoka, is a youth transitional home located in Bracebridge, Ontario. Alex’s Place has one current unit available and no waitlist. If you or someone you know is aged 16-24 and at risk of or experiencing homelessness, visit the link below for more information about Alex’s Place and how to apply or call us at 705-818-4405 for more details click the link below!


In 2019, two District of Muskoka staff members, Shawn and Leanna Kerswell, and their family experienced a terrible tragedy when their son, Alex, died by suicide. He was a young man experiencing mental health issues, and their family could not access the help they needed. Leanna and Shawn (and their son Chris) want to ensure that Alex is never forgotten. 

Since this tragedy, staff at the District have wanted to do something to support the Kerswells to honour his memory. In that spirit, District Council passed a resolution brought forward by staff to name the Home For Good youth housing facility “Alex’s Place” in honour of Alex. The Kerswells were extremely touched by this proposal when it was announced at District Council on Monday, March 21, 2022.

Paula's Place


Paula’s Place is a 14-unit permanent supportive housing program designed for individuals 24+ who are experiencing chronic homelessness and require onsite supports. The program is based in housing first, inclusion, and trauma informed principles. Paula’s Place has 24hr on-site support staff.  All occupants are assigned a case manager who meets with them weekly to provide support and resources that will assist with life skills and goal setting them. All 14 units are fully accessible.


Paula’s Place is a collaborative project between Elizabeth Fry Society Simcoe Muskoka, The Busby Centre, and the County of Simcoe and seeks to support some of those in Simcoe County most affected by the affordable housing crisis.


Paula’s Place was named after the late Paula King. Paula was a co-founder and long-standing Executive Director of Elizabeth Fry Society Simcoe Muskoka. She was a visionary and local mentor to many of the leaders both of our organization and the local social services sector. Paula understood and spoke to the connection between criminalization and homelessness long before our community was willing to listen. She taught us, and many others, to dig deep and think big when visioning possible solutions to the criminalization of poverty, systemic oppression, and the growing rates homelessness. She knew HOUSING was a solution. We felt it important to honour Paula as we forward the work and vision of Elizabeth Fry Society, a vision that she stated in 1989 and dedicated her life to. The interior of the building itself looks as though it has two distinct wings. Collaboratively, we also decided to dedicate each wing to two very special people who lost their lives to circumstances associated to poverty and homelessness. The two wings of the building are being named “Diane’s Wing” and Lee Ann’s Wing”; two women, known to both Elizabeth Fry Society and The Busby Centre, who could have benefit from a supported housing program.


Referrals to Paula’s Place are received through the Simcoe County Coordinated Access System. For more information visit:


Get help now!
Joyce Kope House

Call:  705-715-1052

          705-725-0613 ext. 0




Alex's Place


Call:  705-818-4405

Or click here:   ALEX'S PLACE

bottom of page