Donations still needed to feed Barrie's homeless community

Volunteers are organizing a free dinner for the homeless in Barrie.

The group 'Helping Hands for the Homeless Barrie' is seeking donations to feed vulnerable homeless people.

The event will be held at the Lion's Gate Banquet Hall on Saturday, Feb. 5, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

After seeing the need, Patricia Parker created Helping Hands for the Homeless Barrie a few years ago.

Parker estimates that there are 650 homeless people in Barrie.

"It's a really, really rough time of year," she says.

Parker, who raised both of her children on her own, knows first-hand how difficult life can be.

"We had times when we didn't have any heat, we didn't have any hydro, we were never actually homeless, but we were a couple of steps away from it," she says.

The space at the Lion's Gate Banquet Hall has been donated, and the food will be prepared there, but donations are required to foot the bill.

Administrators expect to serve between 50 to 100 people, with gift bags handed out to each person after the meal. The gift bags will contain toiletries, coats, mitts, and other donated items.

Donations are still needed as the group works towards its $7,500 goal.

If you'd like to donate, visit the GoFundMe page.