Joyce Kope House

Joyce Kope House is the agency’s 27 bed safe residence for women and is the only Community Residential Facility (halfway house) north of Toronto for federally and provincially sentenced women. Our facility provides women under parole supervision to Correctional Service Canada and The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services the opportunity to live and work in the community during a period of reintegration. We also have four ‘Bail Beds’ designated to women who are released from custody while awaiting trial.

Joyce Kope House is the only transitional shelter in the City of Barrie for women experiencing homelessness. On average, the shelter houses over 460 women each year, providing a safe, secure and supportive environment for women from all walks of life. Women can self-refer into our shelter, or may be discharged from mental health facilities, seeking safety from abuse, going to/from treatment centres, released from correctional institutions, overflow from shelters for youth or abused women, seniors without housing or women living on the streets.

While residing at Joyce Kope House, the women participate in life skills activities and receive guidance and support from dedicated staff during this difficult period of transition. Residents are strongly encouraged to participate in community programs in order to ensure ongoing support after discharge.

Referrals for Joyce Kope House come from numerous sources including; community agencies, courts, institutions, other shelters, hospitals, withdrawal management centres, treatment facilities, Probation and Parole Services, police officers, family/friends or self, and the Barrie Out Of The Cold program.

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

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 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.