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Shift Government

Shift Government is a new way of approaching complicated socio-economic issues, and delivering solutions through human-centric design, and by bridging the gap between government and the private sector. It is supported by an innovative way of driving short term and long term results through fostering innovation and creativity.

Meet Shift Government

The City can’t tackle all social issues or economic opportunities alone – we don’t have the resources and sometimes we don’t have the mandates needed to tackle complex urban issues. But we can be the leaders that pull the right people and organizations together. A project of the Mayor’s Office, Shift Government is an initiative aimed at tackling the root causes of urban issues by bringing innovative, proactive approaches to service delivery.

Pilot Projects Underway

Shift Government is about collaborating with other organizations to expand our impact, and to engage more partners. We are working on a stable of small projects that have a few things in common – they focus on community wellbeing, have root-cause oriented goals, and all involve working with organizations outside of City Hall, such as:

Connected Core
(RVH/Barrie Police/City)
  • connecting and coordinating existing outreach component (centralized effort, scheduling, communication, and support)
  • building a job bank through Georgian Employment Center of casual part time jobs to facilitate relationship building between business owners and marginalized people, as well as offering the opportunity to re-engage in the job market for those farthest away from it. 8 downtown businesses have signed up to date including the City of Barrie, as well as the Library.
  • de-escalation training as well as Naloxone training for businesses to build empathy as well as well to decrease Barrie Police emergency calls
  • build a foundation of collaboration between the private sector, NPOs, as well as municipal government to connect individuals with the right help at the right time through the right resources
Sliding Scale Mobile Market
(Barrie Housing/National Food Store)
  • collaboration between Barrie Housing and the private sector to bring a sliding scale (pay what you can) mobile market to certain Barrie Housing locations
  • market set up as a social enterprise—all employed by mobile market are existing tenants of Barrie Housing
  • market will operate on a sustainable business model that could be scaled on a national level to maximize health impact to those living in food deserts
  • market to operate in locations that can afford retail price in order to subsidize the discount offered to the Barrie Housing location clients
Student / Senior co-housing
  • matching seniors living in their home with international and nursing students to share accommodations
  • seniors will provide lodging to students, and in return students will help with daily needs such as medication, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, meal prep, company.
  • based on two successful pilots in Toronto through UofT and NICE (National Institute for the Care of Elderly), as well as in Hamilton through McMaster University
Barrie Housing Flooring Community Challenge
(Barrie Housing/BDAR)
  • community challenge/competition to various business community groups (Realtor Association, Construction Association)
  • each team can sign up for as many units as they want to complete in a particular time frame
  • Barrie Housing to supply materials, community to participate with labour
Health Innovation Week
(MaRS/RVH/LifeLabs - Design Challenge)
  • building on the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy, this session has leaned on the design thinking processes to fuel conversation, coordination, and collaboration on prevention efforts between primary and periphery stakeholders in our community
  • this session aimed at working with diverse members of our community to co-design new approaches to addictions prevention that are uniquely ‘Barrie’.
Impact Collective
(Furniture Bank/Furniture Link / Redwood Park/ BRIX Makerspace/Community Builders)
  • a collective of local social enterprises brought together in order to facilitate collaboration, streamline resources, identify and solve existing gaps in the community, as well as offer a network of support to foster social enterprises in our community
  • as a result of this collaboration, in July 20189, the Barrie Furniture Bank has launched, facilitated by a four way collaboration between a local agency, a sister charity & social enterprise, and a local business – Redwood Park, Furniture Bank & Furniture Link, and Jeff White Group.

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