By: Nick Falvo and Natalie Noble

Nick Falvo PhD is Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Director of Research and Data. Natalie Noble is Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Director of System Planning.

Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) has recently released an updated version of its System Planning Framework as well as a newly-introduced Family System Planning Framework.

Here are five things to know:

  1. Every year, CHF disburses approximately $42 million in funding to programs in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care. Approximately $37 million of this funding comes from Alberta’s provincial government, while most of the remaining amount comes from Canada’s federal government.[1] CHF aims to disburse and monitor this funding as efficiently and as effectively as possible.
  1. Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care includes 10 main program types. They are as follow: Prevention Services (i.e. short term support); Emergency Services; Outreach; Transitional Housing; Coordinated Access and Assessment; Non-Market Housing & Rental Subsidy Programs; Adaptive Case Management (i.e. time-limited social work support); Supportive Housing (i.e.. subsidized housing combined with social work support); Permanent Supportive Housing; and Assertive Community Treatment. The breakdown of which program type receives how much of this money is illustrated below.


  1. CHF’s System Planning Frameworks help people understand what programs CHF funds and how they all fit together as one system. The primary audience for these documents consists of staff who work at CHF’s funded agencies. Ideally, program managers and their front-line staff will find the documents helpful.  The documents are especially helpful for people who want to know how the system works, how success (and performance) is measured, and what the eligibility requirements are for funding. The documents also help ensure consistent use of language (each document has a useful glossary at the end).
  1. People from other jurisdictions find the documents useful when they’re developing and refining their own homeless-serving systems. A recent delegation from New Zealand, in town to study Calgary’s system, found the documents helpful. So did a team of Toronto-based program evaluators when conducting an evaluation with the Region of Peel.
  1. While $42 million in annual funding sounds like a lot of money, it doesn’t meet the need. As noted in Calgary’s most recent Point In Time Count, there’s still a considerable amount of homelessness in Calgary (indeed, there remains a considerable amount of homelessness all across Canada). In Calgary, this is due largely to years of under-funding from senior orders of government (for more on this, see this recent blog post). For a consideration of what can be done to change this at a national level, see the most recent Alternative Federal Budget. And for a consideration of what can be done at the provincial level, read Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget.

The authors wish to thank Kara Layher, Lindsay Lenny, Aaron Li, Kevin McNichol and Joel Sinclair for assistance with this blog post. Any errors lie with the authors.

[1] A relatively small amount of this funding (less than 1%) comes from private donors. Also, this breakdown varies a bit from year to year.

Download a PDF version of this blog post here: The Calgary Homeless Foundations System Planning Frameworks