After years of providing essential services to Oshawa’s poorest residents, Gate 3:16 Outreach Centre has closed its doors. The non-profit organization hopes it’s not for good as it actively looks for a new home.
After 11 years at 394 Simcoe Street, the sign is gone and another, reading “Please be advised that Gate 3:16 Outreach Centre is now closed at this location” is now posted on the side door.
Tuesday, staff and clients were busy clearing out the remaining items.
“The disappointing part of it is we don’t know where we are going and we don’t have another place to go to,” said Rita Trolley, Gate 3:16 Outreach Centre manager.
Kim Kirouac has been coming to Gate 3:16 for the last 10 years. She can’t believe it’s closed.
“Where do I go from here? I don’t know. I’m the kind of person that would wake up at six in the morning, be here for 7:30 and I leave at two and then I can’t wait to get here the next day and now I find when I wake up, I wake up with tears in my eyes because I have nothing to do and I’m still here,” said Kim Kirouac, Gate 3:16 Outreach Centre client.
After close to three decades of serving Oshawa and some of the regions most vulnerable, The Gate is in desperate need of a new home.
“We’re looking but we don’t know how long this will be shut down for right now. There’s a great need in Oshawa for services for the homeless and people in poverty,” said Trolley.
Gate 3:16 serves over 130 clients daily.
“We have clothing here, we have showers, we have washers and dryers, we have breakfast and lunch here and a number of other things,” said Trolley.
The Gate’s current lease has expired and the location they had lined up fell through because of environmental problems, leaving them scrambling to find a new place.
The Mayor of Oshawa knows the closing of the Gate will have a huge impact on the city and region.
“It was a great vision when it opened to help our community and I’m sad to see that they had to close. We worked hard to try and find them a new place and I can tell you that there are people caring, caring people out in the community working very hard today trying to find them a place and get them reopened as soon as possible,” said John Henry, Oshawa Mayor.
But for now, Kim Kirouac and the rest of the clients will be praying that happens sooner rather than later.
“It’s good-bye Gate 3:16,” said Kirouac.