Victim Crisis Assistance
The Barrie and Area Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Service (VCARS) program is a non-profit, incorporated, community volunteer based program with charitable status. It has been in operation since January 1996.
The VCARS program provides emotional support, practical assistance, and referral and information for victims of crime or tragedy. With the consent of the victim, referral to VCARS is directly through police. Support is provided on-site, by trained volunteers, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to police referral in the areas for Barrie Police Service, South Simcoe Police and the OPP Detachments for Orillia, Nottawasaga, Collingwood and the Blue Mountains, Huronia West and Southern Georgian Bay (Midland/Penetanguishene).
The Barrie and Area VCARS program is funded by the Victim Justice Fund, administered by the Ministry of the Attorney General, and governed by a community based Board of Directors. All volunteers with the program complete a forty-hour mandatory training course prior to becoming accredited volunteers.
The benefits of a VCARS program include enabling police to proceed to other calls sooner, immediate crisis assistance to a victim of a crime or tragedy, an opportunity for members of the community to learn more about the legal justice system and to become involved in a caring capacity to others in a time of need.