March 1, 2022

Together, between March 1, 2020 and February 24, 2021, we have helped 4,164 individuals and families find their way home.

During this time, 2,098individuals and families were diverted from homelessness, and 2,066individuals and families were housed.


December 22, 2021

Together, between March 1, 2020 and December 20, 2021 we have helped 3,801 individuals and families find their way home.

During this time, 1,903individuals and families were diverted from homelessness, and 1,898individuals and families were housed.


December 1, 2021

Together, between March 1, 2020 and November 23, 2021 we have helped 3,625 individuals and families find their way home.

During this time, 1,778individuals and families were diverted from homelessness, and 1,847individuals and families were housed.


October 28, 2021

Together, between March 1, 2020 and October 25, 2021 we have helped 3,445 individuals and families find their way home.

During this time, 1,687individuals and families were diverted from homelessness, and 1,758individuals and families were housed.


October 1, 2021

Together, between March 1, 2020 and September 27, 2021, we have helped 3,276 individuals and families find their way home.

During this time, 1,567individuals and families were diverted from homelessness, and 1,709individuals and families were housed.


August 31, 2021

Together, between March 1, 2020 and August 29, 2021, we have helped 3,132 individuals and families find their way home. 

During this time, 1,491individuals and families were diverted from homelessness, and 1,641individuals and families were housed, at an average rate of 174 individuals and families being supported on their journey home per month. 


July 28, 2021

Together, since March 2020, we have helped 2,979 individuals and families find their way home.

Between March 1, 2020 and July 23, 2021, 1,419 individuals and families were diverted from homelessness, while 1,560 individuals and families were housed.

Of the 1,560 housed, 493 (31.6%) were housed directly via programs explicitly designed as a COVID-19 response. The remaining 1,067 (68.4%) were housed via the Coordinated Access and Assessment process.


June 2, 2021

Together since March 2020, we have helped 2,628 individuals and families find their way home.  

Between March 1, 2020 and May 19, 2021, 1,244 individuals and families were diverted from homelessness and 1,384 individuals and families were housed at an average rate of 175.2 individuals / families per month.


May 4, 2021

Since March 2020, we have helped 2,358 individuals and families find their way home.

Between March 1, 2020 and  April 22, 2021, 1,062 individuals and families were successfully diverted from homelessness at an average rate of 76 per month.

In addition, 1,296 individuals and families were housed at an average rate of 93 per month.


March 2, 2021

Housing 

Since March 2020, 543 individuals and families were successfully diverted from homelessness at an average rate of 45 per month. In addition, 1,097 individuals and families were housed at an average rate of 91 per month.  

As a result of the community’s dedicated efforts, 1,640 individuals and families in Calgary are no longer experiencing homelessness. 

Rapid Care Counselling  

In partnership with CUPS and Catholic Family Service, we have launched Rapid Care Counselling. 

 Rapid Care Counselling provides: 

  • Rapid access to responsive, impactful, and tailoredmental health supports to participants in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care  
  • Streamlined access to Catholic Family Service’s Rapid Access Counselling Program and CUPS’ Shared Care Mental Health Program 
  • Collaborative service delivery that matches the level of support to the unique needs of those accessing the services, so they can get the right help at the right time 
  • Easy access points that eliminate barriers and make connecting individuals to the program as seamless as possible 

It is one of many steps focused on mental health and recovery that is needed in our system and an excellent example of community collaboration.  

 To learn more about the Rapid Care Counselling pilot, click HERE. 


February 10, 2021

Calgary Homeless Foundation continues to be diligent in monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 situation, and we continue to follow the recommendations of Alberta Health Services (AHS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Federal, Provincial, and Municipal government guidelines.

The safety and well-being of staff, our community, and those we serve is always of primary importance and at the forefront of our decision making as we continue to navigate in these uncertain times.

Moving Calgarians out of homelessness and into a home with access to appropriate support services continues to be our highest priority.

From March 2020 to January 2021:

Through community’s efforts 472 individuals/families have been successfully diverted from homelessness, and 965 individuals/families have been housed – with more individuals continuing to be housed on an ongoing basis. Of the individuals housed, 148 individuals/families have been housed directly from the Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS) program, 124 individuals/families from transitional housing, (including the Drop-In Centre’s Transitional Housing program) and 60 people from the Sunalta Housing Lodge.

We continue to thank all who are involved in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care for your hard work and dedication.


November 27, 2020

As COVID-19 numbers rise, our monitoring of the COVID-19 situation is ongoing. We continue to follow and implement the recommendations of Alberta Health Services (AHS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Federal, Provincial, and Municipal government guidelines towards taking appropriate precautions regarding our day-to-day work.We remain actively involved in working with the Government of Alberta, the City of Calgary, AHS, and the Homeless-Serving System of Care to ensure those who are experiencing homelessness are best supported through these trying times.The safety and well-being of staff, our community, and those we serve is always of utmost importance and continues to be at the forefront of our decision making as we continue to navigate these uncertain times.CHF continues to work in partnership through open and transparent communication with the programs we fund.In addition to our recommendations, our funded programs have also implemented their own measured precautions that best leverage their internal capacity and available resources to protect front-line staff and those we serve.

October 29, 2020

Calgary Homeless Foundation, in partnership with governmentcommunity, and agencies in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care, have continued to support vulnerable and homeless Calgarians in their time of need.  

While CHF remains committed to housing-focused solutions, since March 13, 2020, funding has also been allocated to support emergency solutions in our community in the following areas: 

  • Assisted Self Isolation Site; 
  • Transitional Housing Site(s); 
  • Mental health and medical supports; 
  • Homecare relief; 
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures; 
  • Shelter diversion funding; 
  • Family diversion funding, and 
  • Youth diversion funding. 

Diversion: 

Diversion means that people are directed away from emergency shelter into some form of housing.  

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Calgary (March 19, 2020),  246 individuals and families were successfully diverted  from Calgary’s homeless-serving system. 

Short Term or Transitional Supported Housing: 

The Assisted Self Isolation Site (ASIS), with the support of The Alex, has served a total of 505 individuals since it opened in April 2020. Of these, 32.9% (166) were connected to housing in the form of supported housing (102 individuals) or independent / family housing (64 individuals). 

A total of 86 individuals entered the Sunalta Housing Lodgeprogram, owned and managed by HomeSpace with supports provided by Calgary Alpha House Society, has transitioned 44.1% (38) of these individuals exiting the program to a supported housing program or independent / family housing. 

In partnership with the Calgary Drop-In Centre’s Transitional Hotel, we served a total of 154 individuals, with 50% (77) exiting the program for a supported housing program or independent / family housing. 

The Kootenay Lodge opened in Martindale as part of the Bridge Housing program. The new 10-unit building is a collaboration between Calgary Homeless Foundation, HomeSpace Society and The Mustard Seed and will result in approximately 40 Calgarians moving out of homelessness and into a home by March 2021. 

At the Kootenay Lodge, individuals receive temporary housing with on-site support services so they can move from the emergency shelter system into independent living. 

The program is intended for those facing financial barriers, or low to moderate physical or mental health challenges. During their stay, a diversion advocate will provide on-site support with system navigation, help individuals secure financial supports, look for appropriate accommodation and connect them with landlords to support their journey into independent housing. 

The James House in Hillhurst is ready to open its doors to its new residents. This 27-unit building is the eighth building to be constructed through the RESOLVE Campaign for Calgary Homeless Foundation and our housing collaborator HomeSpace, who will own and manage the property.  

McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association of Calgary and Area will provide the residents of the building with innovative on-site programming, focused on connecting the residents with natural supports, and community integration within a targeted stay of ten months.  

Residents will work with a diversion advocate to secure financial supports, find appropriate accommodation, and connect them with landlords in support of their journey to independent housing, health, financial stability and an overall improved quality of life.  

Long Term Supported Housing Program: 

Since March 13, 2020, with the support of Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care, 419 individuals or families were housed to-dateThis represented 279 adults, 103 families and 37 youths, with more people being housed on a continual basis.


August 12, 2020

As Alberta continues stage 2 of its relaunch strategy, Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) remains committed to coordinating with partners in community and all levels of government to move vulnerable Calgarians into appropriate housing and to provide them with the support they need for health, well-being, and stability.

Update: Housing and Health Solutions

Since March 19, as a result of our ongoing efforts with community partners, more than 235 adults, 85 families and 30 youth have been accepted into a CHF-funded Housing First program or have moved into permanent housing with supports.

Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS)

This 100-unit isolation site was made possible through our partnerships with government, AHS, HomeSpace Society, The Alex and CUPS.

Since April 6, 2020, the ASIS has provided isolation spaces to more than 300 homeless Calgarians who have experienced symptoms or been diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, over 55 people have transitioned from ASIS into long-term Housing First programs, while more than 35 have been reunited with their families or moved into independent housing.


July 9, 2020 

Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) continues to collaborate with all orders of government and community partners to implement solutions to respond to the needs of vulnerable individuals. Moving Calgarians who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness into appropriate homes with the support they need remains our top priority.  

It has been proven time and time again that no single agency, system or service can end homelessness alone. It is the coordinated response of Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care and our community partnerships that has provided the support needed to move Calgarians in need into homes through established diversion and housing programs.  

Update: Housing and Health Solutions 

Since March 19, as a result of our ongoing efforts with community partners, more than 172 adults, 65 families and 23 youth have now been moved into permanent housing with supports. 

Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS) 

This 100-unit isolation site was made possible through our partnerships with government, AHS, HomeSpace Society, The Alex and CUPS, has now provided isolation spaces to more than 263 homeless Calgarians who have experienced symptoms or been diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, 29 people have transitioned from ASIS into long-term Housing First programs.  

Sunalta Lodging House: Transitional Housing 

With the support of our partners HomeSpace Society and Calgary Alpha House Society, Sunalta has provided transitional housing for 38  people who have transitioned from ASIS and emergency shelters, with 18 of those residents now moved or preparing to move into a permanent home. 

Transitional Housing Building 

The Transitional Housing Building was launched in partnership the Calgary Drop-In Centre (the DI), to provide temporary housing for up to 80 individuals exiting ASIS or other temporary facilities, while they await a permanent home.  

To date, 64 people have moved into the Transitional Housing Building to await placement into an appropriate home; 19 now have confirmed housing and are preparing to move from the Transitional Housing Building into permanent home. 

Diversion from Homelessness to Home 

Our collaborative work with community partners has also included diversion work to address the needs of Calgarians who are at risk of, or have recently fallen into homelessness. This focus on diversion provides short term intervention activities to support and divert them from Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care and enable their return to permanent housing. The diversion work with community has resulted in an additional 215 people ending their experience of homelessness since January. 

High impact initiatives with community partners 

One-time emergency funds provided to CHF through our government partners has allowed us to collaborate with community partners on high impact initiatives to support Calgarians in need. 

 The initiatives include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Youth Shelter Diversion 
  • Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS) 
  • DOAP Team 
  • WINS Donation Centre 
  • Transitional Housing 
  • SORCe Relaunch 
  • Homecare Relief 
  • Mental Health supports 

CHF continues to coordinate with partners in community to move vulnerable Calgarians into appropriate housing and provide them with the support they need for health, well-being, and stability. 

We are grateful for the continued support of government, and the unwavering commitment of our community partners to continue to support those we serve. 

Together, we will end homelessness in Calgary. 


June 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on our city’s urgent need for housing. It has become clear to Calgarians that providing housing for those who need it is not only life-changing – it’s lifesaving.

Collaborations between Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF), all orders of government, and community partners has removed barriers to testing, bolstered homeless-serving sector staffing and resources, and alleviated the strain on Calgary’s shelter system through diversion and housing programs. These community partnerships also resulted in the coordination of Calgary’s Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS); a local facility set up to provide a medical response and a safe place for those experiencing homelessness to self-isolate. In addition, two transitional housing buildings have been established to transfer individuals experiencing homelessness into a safe space temporarily while they await permanent housing that is suitable for their needs.

CHF continues to coordinate with partners in community to move vulnerable Calgarians into appropriate housing and provide them with the support they need for health, well-being, and stability.

Since March 19, 2020, as a result of our ongoing efforts with community partners, more than 128 adults, 50 families and 19 youth have been moved into permanent housing with supports.

Housing and Health Solutions

Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS)

CHF continues to support the health and safety of our community as the coordinator for Calgary’s Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS). This site is a 100-unit building that has provided isolation spaces to more than 229 homeless Calgarians who have experienced symptoms or been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The site was opened with our housing partner HomeSpace Society, with on-site resources and medical supports provided by The Alex and CUPS.

 Individuals who require access to ASIS continue to be pre-screened and triaged through emergency departments at medical facilities and by medical personnel at emergency shelters, in accordance with Alberta Health guidelines.

Sunalta Lodging House: Transitional Housing

The 30-unit Sunalta Lodging House was opened with our partners HomeSpace Society and Calgary Alpha House Society to provide transitional housing with supports for individuals who are medically cleared from the ASIS. Sunalta Lodging House prevents homelessness by providing safe, temporary homes to individuals who are awaiting suitable housing in community.

Since Sunalta Lodging House opened its doors, 28 people have transitioned from ASIS and emergency shelters into the building, with 5 of those residents now placed into a permanent home. Additional housing placements are ongoing.

Transitional Housing Building

The need for affordable housing in our city is clearly an issue of public health. In response to this need, the Calgary Drop-In Centre (the DI) and CHF partnered to launch a new transitional housing building to provide spaces for up to 80 individuals exiting ASIS or other temporary facilities so they are not forced to return back into homelessness. These individuals will be temporarily housed while they await a permanent home.

To date, 64 people have moved into the Transitional Housing Building to await placement into an appropriate home; 4 have confirmed housing and are preparing to move from the Transitional Housing Building into permanent home.


May 19, 2020

Now, more than ever, housing is vital for health and well-being. Moving Calgarians experiencing homelessness into appropriate housing continues to be a top priority for CHF and Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care. Since March 19, 2020, as a result of our ongoing efforts with community partners, more than 74 Adults, 33 families and 9 youth have been moved into permanent housing with supports – with more being housed on an ongoing basis.

This clearly demonstrates that the availability of appropriate housing in our city is crucial to continuing to provide homes for those in need.

In addition to providing Calgarians with housing and access to support, rapid emergency responses are essential to protect those who are experiencing homelessness from the spread of COVID-19. CHF continues to support the health and safety of our community as the coordinator for Calgary’s Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS). This site has provided isolation spaces to more than 230 Calgarians without a home who are experiencing symptoms or diagnosed with COVID-19.

The ASIS itself consists of 100 units designed to support the isolation needs of vulnerable Calgarians, and to-date has not reached capacity. Individuals requiring access to the ASIS are pre-screened and triaged through emergency departments at medical facilities, and by medical personnel at emergency shelters, as per Alberta Health guidelines.

The safety of our community and those we serve is always at the forefront of our efforts. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, we are committed to working with agencies within Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care to support and care for those we serve


April 27, 2020

Calgary Homeless Foundation has been made aware that individuals within the Calgary Drop-in and Rehab Centre (DI) have been positively diagnosed with COVID-19, and we are concerned for their wellbeing and for those who continue to support them. We have confidence that Alberta Health Services and the DI have provided these individuals with appropriate supports for self-isolation and recovery and will continue to assess and implement appropriate and measured precautions against the possible transmission of COVID-19.

The safety of our community is a priority for us all, including the DI, who have been following the guidance of public health officials. All agencies within Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care are committed to continuing to work together to ensure that all measures are taken to reduce the risk of the community spread of COVID-19.


April 06, 2020

Calgary Homeless Foundation remains committed to supporting Calgarians who are experiencing homelessness. During this unprecedented time, we continue to work closely with all orders of government, public health officials, and our community partners in creating solutions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community, and we offer our deepest gratitude to Minister Sawhney for her immense dedication and responsiveness through this crisis.

The many groups and organizations working hard to quickly implement the safest and most appropriate solutions have been working diligently to develop a two-fold approach to addressing the needs of people who are experiencing homelessness in our city:

For those individuals who have not been diagnosed with COVID‑19 and are not showing any symptoms:
The Government of Alberta, City of Calgary and shelter operators have increased our community’s ability to shelter individuals experiencing homelessness through COVID-19 in compliance with Alberta Health guidelines. The Telus Convention Centre is an emergency shelter with capacity for 350 people and ensures that individuals can maintain physical distancing guidelines while shelter operators continue to provide support expertise in managing group care sites. Remaining agile and responsive to shelter overflow needs continues to be a priority.

For those individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID‑19 or are showing symptoms:
An Assisted Self-Isolation Site has been established to house individuals in separate, private rooms who are symptomatic, test positive, or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID‑19. The city of Calgary and AHS Calgary Region have provided input on the selection of the site to address self-isolation requirements for those experiencing homelessness or who have no fixed address. The Assisted Self-Isolation Site will utilize available hotel spaces in Calgary to provide medical supports to vulnerable individuals in a safe, private, and secure environment to reduce the risk of the community spread of COVID‑19.

The Government of Alberta, The City of Calgary, AHS Calgary region and our community partners have been working as diligently and quickly as possible to create solutions to assist our city’s most vulnerable. This is an unprecedented situation and we are encouraged by the dedication and compassion displayed by all who care for those who are experiencing homelessness in our city, and we encourage all Calgarians to continue to practice self-care and physical distancing, and to lead with kindness and care for others.

If you are experiencing homelessness and need help, please click here


Alberta Health Services: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#toc-2
Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Alberta Health Services – Online Covid-19 Self Assessment: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Journey/COVID-19/Pages/COVID-Self-Assessment.aspx


If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, fatigue and shortness of breath), self-quarantine for the recommended period of time (14 days) and contact 8-1-1 for assessment.

Thank you to all of the service providers throughout the city who are providing exceptional care for our most vulnerable citizens. Your tireless efforts do not go unnoticed.

During these challenging times, we encourage all to prioritize your well-being and to lead with kindness and care for each other, as your community members are also working through these trying times beside you.

*Please note, this page will continue to be updated with relevant information. Check back regularly for updates.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is CHF doing to address the possible spread and transmission of COVID‑19?

CHF has modified our practices and the ways in which we convene community. Heeding the advice of public health authorities, large meetings (over 15) that take place in person, such as Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA), Training and Communities of Learning have been paused or shifted to a virtual process. The safety and well-being of staff, participants, the community and those who are experiencing homelessness is always at the forefront of our decision making.

What is CHF’s role during this pandemic?

CHF continues to fulfill our role as the system level leader for Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care. We have been working in partnership with community to develop both immediate and longer-term solutions. CHF is currently funding medical screening tents at the Drop-In Centre; providing funding for shelter diversion programs; ramping up staff within front-line programs and homecare services; and boosting our city’s outreach supports.

CHF has also spearheaded and managed the coordination and rapid activation of an Assisted Self-Isolation Site to take care of individuals experiencing homelessness (or who have no fixed address) who are symptomatic or have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and do not require hospitalization. People will be pre-screened and triaged into the site through hospital emergency departments and at emergency shelters by medical personnel, as per Alberta Health guidelines.

Is CHF continuing to house those who are homeless?

Yes. We continue to provide care and coordinate housing for Calgarians with no fixed address. Our continued goal for Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA) is to convene in a virtual capacity and all teams are continuing to participate as best they can. However, we are remaining agile as the situation evolves.

How does a state of emergency impact your work?

The state of emergency allows the Government of Alberta to make decisions more quickly. Our ministry (Community and Social Services) is meeting daily with the shelters and community-based organizations like CHF to identify issues and flag them to the Alberta Provincial Operations Centre (APOC).

What is the most pressing concern at this time?

Right now we’re looking at coordinating our efforts with the Province and the City to make sure that there is an appropriate and measured medical response that allows us to isolate, quarantine, respond, and treat people accordingly, and ensure that front-line staff and their work environments are safe.

How is CHF supporting shelters?

We are currently working closely with our shelter partners to support them through this challenging and difficult time. They are continuing to house people as rapidly as possible and have worked with community doctors to set up spaces for both testing and isolation. We have every confidence that they are taking appropriate measures and are following the recommendations of public health authorities.

CHF is supporting Calgary’s response by funding medical screening tents at the Drop-In Centre; providing funding for shelter diversion programs; ramping up staff within front-line programs and homecare services; and boosting our city’s outreach supports. In addition, we are managing the coordination and rapid activation of an Assisted Self-Isolation Site to take care of individuals experiencing homelessness (or who have no fixed address) who are symptomatic or have a confirmed case of COVID‑19 and do not require hospitalization.

What is CHF currently doing to support people that are at risk of / experiencing homelessness during this pandemic?

CHF continues to fund and support 26 agencies in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care (CHSSC) to stably house close to 2,100 people with lived experience of homelessness. These supports include disseminating fast-emerging best practices and where possible, additional funding required for COVID-19 needs. This includes distribution of any emergency funding to immediate and longer-term solutions.

We also continue to provide housing to individuals experiencing homelessness through a virtual Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA) practice. At this time, all teams are continuing to participate as best they can. However, we are remaining agile as the situation evolves.

What is the sector doing to address the possible spread and transmission of COVID‑19?

We have confidence that the agencies with Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care (CHSSC) will continue to assess and implement appropriate and measured precautions against the possible transmission of COVID‑19 within the homeless population. We continue to work closely with our shelter partners (Alpha House, Calgary Drop-In Center) to support them through this challenging and difficult time. They are continuing to house people as rapidly as possible and are working with community doctors to set up spaces for testing and creating physical distancing and isolation spaces. CHF respects that every organization will have their own protocols and procedures in place to address the current situation and how it may possibly affect their service delivery. We are continuing to work with every one of our partners as the situation continues to evolve.

What types of measures are your funded programs taking?

The agencies that we fund are concentrating on their existing sanitation measures and are focused on staff wellness and hygiene as per the guidance of public health officials. Many share our concerns about the well-being of clients in our buildings and programs and have made a resounding commitment to continue to do what they can to ensure the delivery of services to vulnerable Calgarians.

If someone tests positive in shelter, what are you doing to protect the rest of population?

Agencies within Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care (CHSSC) continue to assess and implement appropriate and measured precautions against the possible transmission of COVID‑19 within the homeless population and continue to house people as rapidly as possible. Individuals experiencing homelessness will be pre-screened and triaged at hospital emergency departments and at the emergency shelters by medical personnel based on Alberta Health guidelines and referred for assisted self-isolation as required.

What additional measures are being taken to support front-line workers?

The agencies that we fund are concentrating on their existing sanitation measures and are focused on staff wellness and hygiene as per the guidance of public health officials. Many share our concerns about the well-being of clients in our buildings and programs, and have made a resounding commitment to continue to do what they can to ensure the delivery of services to vulnerable Calgarians.

CHF respects that every organization will have their own protocols and procedures in place to address the current situation, measures to ensure the protection of their front-line staff, and how it may possibly affect their service delivery. We are continuing to work with every one of our partners as the situation continues to evolve.

What are the most urgent needs for people experiencing homelessness?

The agencies and shelters within Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care are working hard to implement best precautionary measures against the transmission of COVID‑19 for all front-line workers and within the population of individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Resources are burdened across our front lines, and the climb to emerge from this crisis is steep. If you are inclined to donate during this difficult time, we encourage you to support these agencies as they are our first line of defense in stopping the spread of COVID‑19 among those experiencing homelessness.

  • A COVID‑19 Community Response Fund has been established by The City of Calgary (including the Calgary Emergency Management Agency), and United Way of Calgary and Area, to support Community agencies who are working diligently to keep Calgarians safe and well by visiting https://calgaryunitedway.org/.
  • In addition, a COVID‑19 Urgent Charity Needs page has also been set up by The Calgary Foundation, for local charities to share their needs with Calgarians who want to help and can be accessed by visiting https://ckc.calgaryfoundation.org/.

CHF will be working directly with both organizations to determine funding priorities for Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care.

What is being done for the people who are in shelters?

We are currently working closely with our shelter partners to support them through this challenging and difficult time. They are continuing to house people as rapidly as possible and are working with community doctors to set up spaces for testing, creating physical distancing spaces and creating isolation spaces to use, if necessary. We have every confidence that they are taking appropriate measures and are following the recommendations of public health authorities.

What happens if there is an outbreak within the programs or shelters?

We will rely on the Assisted Self-Isolation Site and Alberta Health Services supports to contain any potential outbreak.

What information can I share to assist Calgarians experiencing homelessness when they appear to be symptomatic?

If you see a person who appears to be experiencing homelessness and also appears to be symptomatic (or in medical distress) please call 911 and warn EMS if it may be a potential COVID‑19 case.

Are people experiencing homelessness being tested for COVID‑19? Where can they go to be tested?

Individuals experiencing homelessness can go to the Drop-In Centre, The Mustard Seed or Alpha House to be assessed for initial screening. Shelter staff will be able to arrange for testing if required. If the individual requires emergency medical interventions, they will be seen at a hospital or urgent care facility.

How can people who are experiencing homelessness or who have no home self-isolate? Is there somewhere for them to do so?

In addition to the efforts of individual shelters in our city to create isolation spaces, CHF has spearheaded and managed the coordination and rapid activation of an Assisted Self-Isolation Site to take care of individuals experiencing homelessness (or who have no fixed address) who are symptomatic or have a confirmed case of COVID‑19 and do not require hospitalization.

How many assisted self-isolation units are there, is there enough?

Up to 100 units will be available for the self-isolation needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. This is an unprecedented project to safely coordinate, and discussions are underway on a next step to scale additional options where appropriate.

Will individuals experiencing homelessness be able to stay in the Assisted Self-Isolation Site long-term?

Individuals who require self isolation will stay within the site for as long as required under the current AHS and public health orders – or as long as it takes for them to recover.

Where is the Assisted Self-Isolation Site located?

Alberta Health Services and the City of Calgary have guided us in the selection of an appropriate site. We are also following AHS guidelines and best practices towards creating a medical response facility that is safe and secure for both the front-line workers and those who are isolated within the units, as well as taking steps to maintain the integrity of the building itself.

In order to ensure that the response is orderly, coordinated, maintains privacy, and efficiently serves those most in need of this support, the location of the Isolation Centre will not be disclosed.

If I encounter someone with symptoms is it possible to refer them for placement in the Assisted Self-Isolation Site?

No. We encourage any individual experiencing homelessness who appears to be symptomatic to access emergency shelters for pre-screening and triage by medical personnel based on Alberta Health Service guidelines.

Why aren’t all people in shelter being moved into these units?
Why are some people being placed into the Telus Convention Centre and not hotels?

At this time, for individuals who are not diagnosed with or exhibiting symptoms of COVID‑19, our shelter partners have coordinated with the City of Calgary to open overflow centres to ensure that appropriate physical distancing can be maintained.

The designated Assisted Self-Isolation Site units within the hotel are reserved for individuals who require self-isolation due to medical need. For the safety and well-being of all individuals within the building, the need for individuals to be transported to the units will be determined through a pre-screening and triage by medical personnel based on Alberta Health guidelines.

click here to read our previous COVID‑19 statements

In our new webinar series, presenters describe and discuss how their data sets address homelessness to foster discussion on future research. 

On June 3, 2021 Calgary Homeless Foundation, in partnership with the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, launched the first of our Data That Makes a Difference webinar series.  

 The subject of this first webinar focused on how short cross-sectional studies of the characteristics of homeless people garner a lot of attention, but several other varieties of data, now neglected, bear a lot more useful information. But neglecting these often neglected data has led to serious errors – and might do so again. 

 Our first webinar was attended by over 110 individuals, and our presenter discussed two varieties of data in particular – point in time counts and stocks and flows – demonstrating how they can illuminate both policy-making and understanding.  

 A full recording of the webinar is now available on the Data That Makes a Difference website 

 During the presentation, many attendees joined the lively question and answer discussion. Any questions that were not addressed during the live program, were answered by the keynote speaker, and can be accessed HERE 

 Our Presenter:  

Dan O’Flaherty is a professor of economics at Columbia University, and teaches urban economics and the economics of race. His books include Making Room: The Economics of Homelessness (1996), How to House the Homeless, with Ingrid Ellen (2010), The Economics of Race in the United States (2015), and Shadows of Doubt: Crime, Stereotypes, and the Pursuit of Justice, with Rajiv Sethi (2019). He has served as an aide to Kenneth A. Gibson, the first African American mayor of a major northeastern city. 

 Dan O’Flaherty has been studying homelessness for 30 years. He does so from the point of view of an economist, which means that he bases his ideas and recommendations on data, which is the focus for Data That Makes a Difference. 

 Mr. O’Flaherty has a ‘relaxed’ style of speaking and writing that makes difficult concepts and associated policy recommendations easily understood by non-experts. 

These characteristics mean he can blend the best of both worlds; as he is well-respected as an expert in the field of the economics of homelessness, but he is also able to place what he finds into a broader context using familiar, non-technical language. 

 

 Future Data That Makes a Difference Webinars: 

Information about future webinars will be announced as details become available. Visit https://www.datathatmakesadifference.com/ for more information.  

 

By: Joel Sinclair

Significant advances in the battle against homelessness are being won. Since 2008, and the implementation of Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness, the average number of nightly stays by single adults in Calgary emergency shelters has fallen by 40%.

A Noted Downward Trend

shelterStaysGraph

Analysis published today by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy clearly illustrates an encouraging downward trend in the use of emergency shelters by single adults. In fact, as much as there is variation in the chart within any given year, the year-over-year number of shelter stays observed has been continually shrinking. This is good news.

Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness was launched in 2008 by a multi-stakeholder leadership group with the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) appointed as the implementer. Since then, Calgary has become a leader in the charge to end homelessness and our city’s homeless-serving community’s grounded approach in the Housing First model has become a world standard for addressing the chronic issues of homelessness in a collaborative, data-driven and forward-thinking way.

Factors to Progress

Factors that have contributed to this downward trend have been noted by Nick Falvo (CHF’s Director of Research and Data), as well as Ron Kneebone and Margarita Wilkins (both with the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy)

“Housing First has always been a core component of Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness, and our primary focus on housing people with supports reduces the pressure on Calgary’s shelters,” says Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of CHF. “In concert with that, our city’s homeless-serving system of care has continually focused on creating greater housing stability for our clients. Continuous advancements and refinements in program design and measurement have resulted in constant improvements in housing retention, allowing us to achieve an annual housing retention rate of 91% – which means that fewer people are falling back into homelessness or having to rely on the shelter system.”

In addition to Calgary’s homeless-serving community’s successful implementation and execution of these core aspects of Calgary’s Plan, we should also consider the impact that the following components have had on contributing to this downward trend:

Better Triaging: Addressing the needs of our city’s most vulnerable through ground-breaking triage programs such as Coordinated Access and Assessment also means that our clients are moving straight into housing programs and remaining stably housed.

Rental market fluctuation. When rental vacancy rates are high, landlords are often more eager to rent units, as it becomes a ‘renter’s market.’ High vacancy rates in Calgary over the past two years have therefore made it easier for persons experiencing homelessness to access rental units in our city.

Social assistance benefit levels. Benefit levels for Alberta social assistance recipients have increased since 2008.  For example, total annual income received by a ‘single employable’ household receiving social assistance jumped by more than 30% in 2009; and the total annual income for a single adult receiving Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped increased by 30% between 2011 and 2013. Higher incomes have made it easier for persons experiencing homelessness (or people on the verge of experiencing homelessness) to access and maintain rental housing.

What’s next?

With the goal of ending homelessness in our city, it’s vital that, as a community, we continue to focus on increased coordination and collaboration across our homeless-serving system of care. It’s also important that we continue to foster greater integration with ‘big system’ public service care providers.

For agencies at the front line, seeing the positive, measurable results of their efforts founded in data and research matters a great deal.

“We have to give kudos to the shelters in Calgary. They are a vital part of Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care, and we have some really amazing shelters that are serving people when they are in need”, says Krecsy, “The shelters are our emergency department, and they need to be there. But we must also focus on the group of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness – people who have been in there a long time – and get them into the housing and supports they need.”

We have made notable progress in ending homelessness in Calgary, but we can do more. To reach our collective goal we must continue to do the great work we are all doing together, until everyone has a home.

By: Joel Sinclair

Significant advances in the battle against homelessness are being won. Since 2008, and the implementation of Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness, the average number of nightly stays by single adults in Calgary emergency shelters has fallen by 40%.

A Noted Downward Trend

Shelter Stays Graph

Analysis published today by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy clearly illustrates an encouraging downward trend in the use of emergency shelters by single adults. In fact, as much as there is variation in the chart within any given year, the year-over-year number of shelter stays observed has been continually shrinking. This is good news.

Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness was launched in 2008 by a multi-stakeholder leadership group with the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) appointed as the implementer. Since then, Calgary has become a leader in the charge to end homelessness and our city’s homeless-serving community’s grounded approach in the Housing First model has become a world standard for addressing the chronic issues of homelessness in a collaborative, data-driven and forward-thinking way.

Factors to Progress

Factors that have contributed to this downward trend have been noted by Nick Falvo (CHF’s Director of Research and Data), as well as Ron Kneebone and Margarita Wilkins (both with the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy)

“Housing First has always been a core component of Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness, and our primary focus on housing people with supports reduces the pressure on Calgary’s shelters,” says Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of CHF. “In concert with that, our city’s homeless-serving system of care has continually focused on creating greater housing stability for our clients. Continuous advancements and refinements in program design and measurement have resulted in constant improvements in housing retention, allowing us to achieve an annual housing retention rate of 91% – which means that fewer people are falling back into homelessness or having to rely on the shelter system.”

In addition to Calgary’s homeless-serving community’s successful implementation and execution of these core aspects of Calgary’s Plan, we should also consider the impact that the following components have had on contributing to this downward trend:

Better Triaging: Addressing the needs of our city’s most vulnerable through ground-breaking triage programs such as Coordinated Access and Assessment also means that our clients are moving straight into housing programs and remaining stably housed.

Rental market fluctuation. When rental vacancy rates are high, landlords are often more eager to rent units, as it becomes a ‘renter’s market.’ High vacancy rates in Calgary over the past two years have therefore made it easier for persons experiencing homelessness to access rental units in our city.

Social assistance benefit levels. Benefit levels for Alberta social assistance recipients have increased since 2008.  For example, total annual income received by a ‘single employable’ household receiving social assistance jumped by more than 30% in 2009; and the total annual income for a single adult receiving Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped increased by 30% between 2011 and 2013. Higher incomes have made it easier for persons experiencing homelessness (or people on the verge of experiencing homelessness) to access and maintain rental housing.

What’s next?

With the goal of ending homelessness in our city, it’s vital that, as a community, we continue to focus on increased coordination and collaboration across our homeless-serving system of care. It’s also important that we continue to foster greater integration with ‘big system’ public service care providers.

For agencies at the front line, seeing the positive, measurable results of their efforts founded in data and research matters a great deal.

“We have to give kudos to the shelters in Calgary. They are a vital part of Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care, and we have some really amazing shelters that are serving people when they are in need”, says Krecsy, “The shelters are our emergency department, and they need to be there. But we must also focus on the group of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness – people who have been in there a long time – and get them into the housing and supports they need.”

We have made notable progress in ending homelessness in Calgary, but we can do more. To reach our collective goal we must continue to do the great work we are all doing together, until everyone has a home.

Our Position on the National Housing Strategy

 

The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) supports a National Housing Strategy and is grateful for the opportunity to provide input. We strongly believe that for the Strategy to be an effective tool to further the vision of ending homelessness, it needs to provide specific measures to address the specialized needs for housing with supports for vulnerable and homeless citizens, including Indigenous peoples.

The development of a National Housing Strategy will have a positive and lasting impact on our collective vision of ending homelessness in Calgary. As a community, Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness: People First in Housing First, identifies the need to address the current gap for 15,600 Calgarian households in extreme core housing need. We are pleased the government is taking action. We encourage our community partners to join the conversation share this with your social networks and participate in the survey and/or submit a written response by October 21, 2016. For more information please see our six recommendations for inclusion into the National Housing Strategy and our Key Supporting Statistics.

A highlight of our recommendations are listed below:

CHF supports a National Housing Strategy that will deliver safe, suitable and secure housing to every Canadian.

  • All Canadians deserve a decent place to live.
  • Canada is significantly behind in comparison to other OECD countries in providing social housing.
  • The National Housing Strategy (Strategy) should protect, preserve and improve existing low-income/social housing stock and build capacity in the non-profit housing sector to deepen financial sustainability, asset management and renewal.
  • Provide tax incentives for the creation of new rental stock.
  • The Strategy needs to guarantee access to affordable housing appropriate for low income, vulnerable populations and Indigenous Peoples, especially in major urban centres where evidence shows greater prevalence of homelessness.

A National Housing Strategy must specifically address the specialized needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness and strengthen the vision of ending homelessness in Canada.

  • The Strategy must link housing for Canadians exiting homelessness with the adequate and appropriate supports required for this population to remain stably housed and integrated into community.
  • Studies show that there are significant cost savings associated with the provision of housing with supports for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Funding for programs that provide housing first supports specific to Canadians experiencing homelessness, should be increased to provide real and possible advancement towards ending homelessness.
  • The Strategy must safeguard the economic, social and cultural rights of vulnerable populations, including Indigenous Peoples.
  • The Strategy needs to address the gap for the over 1.5 million Canadian households in core housing need.
    • There are approximately 15,600 households in Calgary in extreme core housing need.

Public Social Expenditure must increase to ensure cycles of poverty and homelessness are not repeated, especially for vulnerable Canadians.

  • Greater public social expenditure on anti-poverty initiatives, including housing and income assistance can strengthen Canada’s social welfare system and help prevent and reduce homelessness.

Please take 10 minutes to fill out the survey, share this with your social networks and encourage everyone to include their voice in the conversation.  The online survey is open to the public until October 21, 2016. More details can be found HERE.

To view our six recommendations for inclusion into the National Housing Policy, click here to download our brief.

Click here to read a blog post written by Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Director of Research and Data, Nick Falvo, on ten things to know about Canada and our National Housing Strategy.