Supporting Barrie's Aging Population to Safely and Effectively Age in Place
The origins of Homeshare began in Toronto. In May 2018, a pilot project was recommended by the City of Toronto arising out of the Toronto Seniors Strategy, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Seniors Affairs. The National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) implemented the pilot in partnership with the City and the Toronto Seniors Strategy Accountability Table, a group of seniors, caregivers, and other community partners dedicated to adequately and effectively support Toronto’s aging population.
The purpose of the pilot was to empower older adults wishing to remain in their homes with a means of obtaining additional income, help around the home, and companionship, as well as to address the lack of affordable housing in the City, particularly among students.
Among the 12 senior home providers and students matched during the HomeShare pilot, many reported experiencing benefits from their participation in the project, such as a decrease in both social isolation and financial burden.
Based on the success of the pilot, City Council voted to expand and continue HomeShare. As of May 2019, Toronto HomeShare launched as a City of Toronto program, and as of January 2020 Barrie's Office of the Mayor in collaboration with Georgian College's Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation and NICE as the community implementors of the program launched the Barrie HomeShare Pilot Project.