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To the anonymous letter writer and the misinformation they included in their letter:

Here is my official response to the letter so many received in their mailboxes: 


Your letter had many inaccuracies. I would encourage you to get all of your facts straight before sharing a letter with hundreds of households within our community. This is how divisive politics takes route, and it breaks my heart to see this happening within Orillia.  

There are some key facts about the Modular Home Project being considered Monday that you should be aware of: 


  1. The modular home project that you are speaking of and council is considering is NOT a homeless shelter. This is a housing development within modular units. It is providing transitional housing. 

  2. This project is going to have between 20 to 30 individuals at a time. They are what the county considers to be a 'low risk' population. These include individuals who are close to becoming homeless or have just become homeless and will help to ensure that they do not end up on the streets or in the shelter system. The project in Barrie, which this program is based on, has a 90% success rate for individuals finding new accommodations within the first 180 days of participating in the program. 

  3. This project will do a lot to divert individuals away from shelters, encampments, and our streets. This is by far the best and most effective way to do it, in a proactive manner. You’ve brought up a variety of concerns regarding our homeless population. Well, this project will help to tackle those concerns that you have mentioned. 


  1. There are long term discussions about a shelter/transitional housing for youth in Orillia. No location has been identified for such a project as of yet. However, we desperately need such a site within Orillia as well. (According to a 2016 study, 1 in 4 Orillia Youth are either homeless or close to it). 




  1. The project at the old ODCVI site will have 130 units not 300. However, there is currently a waitlist of over 1600 individuals in Orillia waiting for affordable housing (5% of Orillia's population). This affordable housing project is desperately needed. 


As a volunteer of the Orillia Warming Centre, I have gotten to know many who could have benefited from these types of programs. The vast majority are good people, polite, and kind. Some are down on their luck, some are dealing with a traumatic experiences beyond their control, some have lost their jobs. Before vilifying anyone, I would really encourage you to make an effort to understand what they are dealing with. At the end of the day we are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such.   

Thanks for your time. As I said, sharing inaccurate information can be very harmful for our democracy. That is why I felt it was important to clarify the facts. Please exercise extra precaution in future. 




Councillor Jay Fallis 

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