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
- 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, 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.
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Joyce Kope House
705-725-0613 ext. 0