More than 200 ex-cons are released from prison on to the streets of Newmarket every year without their identification, money, OHIP cards and medication, according to two volunteers who so far have been stymied in their efforts to fix the problem.

“I think the situation would shock the conscience of the community,” said Philip Smith, a member of the Quaker Christian community.

While many prisoners have family or friends who can drive them back to prison to collect their belongings, about 250 a year end up homeless, turning to overburdened social services or at risk of reoffending, he said.