A photo of a man standing at a podium. His nametag says "John Currie"

John Currie

John Currie was a founding member of CHF’s board of directors in 1998 and its first vice-chair. He served as the organization’s second President and CEO, from 1999-2004.

In 1996, John attended a dinner put on by two committees on homelessness that brought together politicians, people experiencing homelessness and the business community. At the time, he was a senior executive for a petroleum company and represented the Downtown Business Association. During a speech, he declared that the business community had a role and a responsibility to help solve the problem of homelessness and should be invited to help.

John had said it had been his first opportunity as a businessperson to speak on the issue. He was convinced that the planning and development talents in the business community could be utilized when confronting complex societal issues.

During those first years of existence, largely led by John, the foundation raised and contributed millions of dollars for 73 projects helping people experiencing homelessness. Alongside the Community Action Committee, CHF developed an efficient system to identify priorities, screen projects and find funding to make projects happen. Some projects included the construction and completion of The Salvation Army Centre of Hope and the new Calgary Drop-In Centre, along with funding supportive housing and post-addiction transitional housing. He regularly spoke about changing public perceptions about homelessness, the importance of research projects and advocating to increase the availability of affordable housing in the city.

Following his tenure as president, John served as board chair until 2007. In 2017, he was named an honourary member of CHF’s board of directors, and remains an honourary board member, in memoriam. John passed away on Oct. 13, 2022 and we honour and recognize his commitment to the #fightagainsthomelessness.

We’ve created an infographic that provides a snapshot of the Calgary Emergency Cold Weather Winter Response from December 2021 – February 2022.

Click on the images below to see the full stats.

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CHF CCWR Snapshot Infographic

Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) is pleased to be named one of the 200+ youth supporting organizations in Alberta that will be a recipient of this year’s Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink.

CHF currently funds eight youth programs in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care. Your donation to CHF, through Shaw Charity Classic, will be matched up to 50% increasing support to youth in-need, in our community.

Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate women’s achievements while recognizing that last year, in the 2021 Administrative Count, 28% of people experiencing homelessness in Calgary were women.

Women face unique challenges while experiencing homelessness. Women are more likely to suffer physical, emotional, and sexual violence, and it is more difficult for them to access healthcare products and services when they are menstruating or pregnant.

To mark this International Women’s Day, here are two ways you can support women as they overcome barriers and find their way home:

  1. Ask yourself: is a woman I know experiencing homelessness?

Do I know someone who is couch surfing with family or friends because they don’t have a home?

Women are more likely to live in temporary accommodation, because living on the streets or in shelters increases their risk of sexual exploitation, abuse, and violence.

If you know a woman without a home, direct them to SORCe or the Safe Communities Opportunity Resource Centre, a hub that connects people experiencing homelessness to important programs and services.

  1. Support women-serving organizations in Calgary

Several agencies in Calgary run programs designed to help women experiencing homelessness. When you support these agencies, you help women connect to the housing and resources they need to lead full and independent lives.

Calgary Alpha House Society runs a Women’s Housing Program that provides women with a safe place to live while they address mental health challenges or substance misuse.

Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society has a Community Housing Program that helps women find safe housing in the community, so they don’t have to return to their abusers.

The SHARP Foundation operates The Croydon, a housing program that provides integrated care and support for women living with complex health and social challenges.

Trellis runs The Maple, a housing program for women who have experienced chronic homelessness.

YW Calgary offers a wide range of services and programs to support women in the city.

Women In Need Society operates several thrift stores across Calgary to provide basic needs and support to women.

Elizabeth Fry Society provides support and advocacy to women involved in the legal and justice systems.

For International Women’s Day, let’s empower women on their journey towards independence and an improved quality of life. Each woman we support on the journey home brings us closer to a gender-equal world where every woman can thrive.


Calgary Homeless Foundation is pleased to announce our partnership with SkipTheDepot, a door-to-door bottle collection service that makes refundable recycling and donating to our organization easy.

How It Works

SkipTheDepot picks up your empty bottles and cans and donates 100% of your returns to Calgary Homeless Foundation, so every dollar of your recycling goes towards the fight against homelessness. To get started:

  1. Visit the web app, https://app.skipthedepot.com/calgaryhomelessfoundation, to donate your returns to Calgary Homeless Foundation automatically, or download SkipTheDepot app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Place your garbage bags outside.
  3. SkipTheDepot picks up the bags, and Calgary Homeless Foundation receives your donation! (We will issue a tax receipt to you if the amount is $20 and above.)

Why We’re Excited

Over 1200 organizations in Calgary and more than $966,747.73 have been donated through SkipTheDepot. When you recycle with SkipTheDepot and Calgary Homeless Foundation, you are helping the environment and supporting people experiencing homelessness in our city.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

How many cans and bottles can I donate?

A minimum of 150 containers, or two bags worth.

How do I pack them?

No need to sort bottles from cans. Just put everything into garbage bags. (No boxes, please!)

How do I schedule a pick-up from my home?

Visit the web app, https://app.skipthedepot.com/calgaryhomelessfoundation, or download SkipTheDepot from the App Store or Google Play.

Enter your address, your desired pick-up date, and select Calgary Homeless Foundation from the list of organizations in the donations section. Use the comments section to give any specific instructions for the driver. (Example: call this number when arriving; bags are alongside fence; please pick up at a particular time).

On the scheduled day of your pickup, place your bags outside in a secure location by 8 am. The driver will pick up your bags between 8 am and 5 pm, label them, and take them to SkipTheDepot’s counting facility.

If you live in an apartment or condo, SkipTheDepot just needs access to your building’s recycling room. Let your building management company know you’re interested in the service.

Can I drop my bottles and cans off to SkipTheDepot?

Yes. Simply find the closest Drop&Go location in the app or website (it’s marked on the map).

Write your 4-digit customer ID on all your bags and head over to the Drop&Go location. Use the app or website to snap a quick picture of your bags and drop the bags into the designated area. SkipTheDepot will count your bags and even show you what they counted!

To learn more, visit www.skipthedepot.com.

With tears, flowers, and a song for a friend who can no longer be found, Calgarians gathered on a cold morning on October 13, 2021 for a reflective ceremony marking the installation of the city’s first and only permanent homeless memorial.

“We have monuments all over the city to the rich and powerful. I’m really pleased we now have a memorial to those who are most marginalized and who have lost their lives being marginalized,” said Counsellor Evan Woolley in an emotional tribute to those who have lost their lives while experiencing homelessness in Calgary.

The memorial, located at 107 13 Ave SE, is the culmination of a three-year collaboration between the Client Action Committee, Calgary Homeless Foundation, University of Calgary, and the City of Calgary, with the support of Canadian Artists Against Poverty, and homeless-serving agencies in the city. It was created after Calgarians experiencing homelessness expressed a need for a permanent place to remember their family and friends who lost their lives while not having a home.

In the ceremony’s introduction, Patricia Jones, President and CEO of Calgary Homeless Foundation, noted the humanity of those who had lost their lives. “It is important to remember that the people honoured today are more than a ‘number’: they were mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, children and friends of someone who loved them,” she said.

Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Client Action Committee (CAC)—a group composed of people with lived or living experience of homelessness—recognized the need for a permanent memorial site through their coordination of the annual Longest Night of the Year city-wide homeless memorial service.

In 2018, the CAC approached Dr. Jessica Shaw, who was researching end-of-life care for people experiencing homelessness at the University of Calgary. Together, they started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds. Calgary Homeless Foundation assisted as a funder and Councillor Evan Woolley, a former Board Member with Calgary Homeless Foundation, championed the memorial with the City of Calgary, securing the site.

Three years later, in September 2021, the memorial was installed. The memorial, designed and constructed by artists who have lived or living experiences of homelessness or poverty, has three features, notably a bronze backpack on a pillar, etched with the words: “In this space, we remember and honour our neighbours, family, and friends—known and unknown—who have lived and died because of the traumas of homelessness. In past, present, and future—may they rest in power.”

The memorial also has a bench free of barriers for someone to lay down and two pillars painted with a mural embedded with phone chargers. All parts of the monument had input from people with connections to Calgary’s homeless community.

By the end of the morning, the bronze backpack, modelled after one that was carried by a member of Calgary’s homeless community for over a decade, was blanketed in fresh flowers. On the ground around the statue, messages had been left in chalk: “For Max,” “More than a number,” and “for all those who deserve more.”

“I want to one day bring my child here and tell her that it exists because we used to lose someone every three days in Calgary [to homelessness],” said Dr. Shaw.

Until then, the memorial serves as a quiet place for reflection, and as a reminder, said Patricia Jones, that the fight against homelessness is worth all of us getting in the ring for.

View the program here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du70jQ7tJDs.

Click here for the photo gallery.

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