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On November 24, 2016, StreetSide Developments: A Qualico company, alongside the RESOLVE Campaign, HomeSpace Society, the Calgary Homeless Foundation and Alpha House, hosted the grand opening of Aurora on the Park. This 25 unit, fully accessible building was constructed specifically to support vulnerable Calgarians experiencing homelessness. Named after the Aurora glow that symbolizes the dawn of a new day, the grand opening was a celebration of the beginning of a new life and a new home for these 25 individuals. Elder Casey Eagle Speaker blessed Aurora’s opening and spoke of the dawning of new hope for these 25 Calgarians who needed it most.

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Each of the clients’ homes are designed for wheelchair accessibility and are completely barrier free. The common areas, a space where clients can gather for meals and to socialize, are also fully accessible. While each suite has been built for tenants to be able to cook for themselves, Meals on Wheels will also visit daily to provide tenants with healthy, well rounded meals.

The tenants of Aurora on the Park will receive full support from the Alpha House Society who will be the case manager for the building. This allows tenants to access support twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Aurora on the Park is the third building to be completed in a series of purpose-built apartments that are constructed by Calgary home builders for the Calgary Homeless Foundation through the RESOLVE Campaign and with support from the Government of Alberta. “The partnership of all levels of government, Calgary Home Builders and the RESOLVE Campaign continues to make ending homelessness possible in Calgary,” says Diana Krecsy, President & CEO of CHF. “Aurora on the Park represents more than just an accessible home for 25 individuals experiencing homelessness. It represents hope and a better future for them and for all Calgarians.”

For more information on Aurora on the Park, please visit the RESOLVE Campaign website or read StreetSide Developments’ blog, Grand Opening of Aurora on the Park.

It was a full house at the key exchange for Stepping Stone Manor on Tuesday, June 28th. 

Stepping Stone is set to become home to 30 individuals with long-term lived experience of homelessness. Under contract with Calgary John Howard Society, the individuals taking up residence will be provided housing, supports and the opportunity to be part of community. 

 

Representatives from the Government of Alberta who provided 70% of the capital to build Stepping Stone Manor, dignitaries, builders from the RESOLVE Campaign who are supporting the building of an additional 7 – 10 more such buildings in our city, agency partners, neighbours, all came out to be part of the celebration.

Those who spoke had great words to say. About how we need more affordable housing. How ending homelessness begins with housing first. How people experience homelessness because of societal issues, not because they choose it. How addictions, divorce, mental health issues, all these things contribute to someone becoming homeless — but only when we do not have the necessary richness in our social welfare system to provide access to the supports they need to live their lives with dignity. When we do not have enough richness in our communities to build or safeguard someone’s resilience so they can weather life’s ups and downs.

It was inspiring. Exciting. Affirming to hear the speakers. To see so many people come out to be part of the event.

And then, Michael spoke. And what was a ‘hey let’s celebrate what we’re doing to make a difference’ became, ‘let’s remember that we don’t do this ‘for’ people so we feel good, we are doing it with them so that in the possibilities created, we have a better chance of becoming a better society where everyone knows that they belong, where everyone is treated with dignity, respect, kindness, care.

Michael spent 20 years living on the streets.

He slept in the woods. Used and abused drugs and alcohol.

He felt the shame of being imprisoned for things he’d done. The way he had become, the way he so often felt and was treated as ‘less than human’.

Fifteen months ago, Michael was released from prison and the Calgary John Howard Society (CJHS) started supporting him in his transition away from the streets, away from reacting to his life through crime, to finding the path he is so firmly committed to walking. The path of a brave, honourable and caring man.

“Housing is everything,” he told the crowd of 60 or so guests. “It gave me a place to begin again.”

He talked about the support CJHS has given him through housing. How it helped him make the decision to enter rehab. To get clean and sober. To walk a different path than through substance abuse and crime.

And it helped him see clearly the difference he can make when walking this path.

“I could look at the last 20 years as wasted or I can look forward to the next 20 years as an opportunity to do better,” he said.

His decision to look ahead towards a better future represents the possibility to be at home and live with, hope, courage, pride, strength.

For all of us, it represents the possibility of matching the right client with the right housing and the right supports so that every Calgarian can see a future where homelessness ends. 

 

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Thank you to all our partners in the RESOLVE Campaign, the Government of Alberta, CMHC, agency partners, Calgary John Howard Society and everyone who attended. You made a difference.

 

In November, 11 Calgary Homebuilders, who are members of the RESOLVE Campaign, were honoured at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Calgary.

 

 

CHF is proud to be a partner in the RESOLVE Campaign. These exceptional philanthropists represent the best of Calgary and along with the Government of Alberta are playing a significant role in ensuring we have the resources we need to build 8 affordable housing apartment buildings for individuals experiencing homelessness. Together, we will end homelessness.

 

Possibilities in the Wind: An Artful Partnership opened on Saturday with minimal fanfare but, don’t let the low-key nature of its opening fool you. The Exhibit, which showcases the kick-off event for Stepping Stone Manor, shows the power of our collective impact when we work together to engage community, government and corporate Calgary in ending homelessness.

The exhibit, which includes eight of the original giant photos that were affixed to the house at 222 15th Ave SW prior to its demolition last June and the painted mailboxes and doors from the house along with video footage from the kick-off event  is a celebration of all that has happened over the past year to make Stepping Stone Manor possible today.

Stepping Stone Manor, a 30 unit assisted-living apartment building in the Beltlin Community, will house formerly homeless Calgarians. It will become home to its first tenants this September. Last April, 2014, CHF and the RESOLVE Campaign worked with This is My City Art Society (TMC) to create a kick-off event that would bring community together to celebrate the past of the rooming house at 222 15th Ave SW and create a pathway to a better future for those who would eventually be calling Cedarglen Living’s: Stepping Stone Manor home.

Possibilities in the Wind: An Artful Partnership is hosted by CHF and TMC as part of this year’s This is My City Festival 2015. The full calendar of events for the Festival can be found HERE on the TMC website.  Special thanks to TRUCK Contemporary Art Gallery in Calgary for their support.

Stepping Stone Manor continues to move upward. The foundation for the 30 unit assisted living apartment building in the Beltline has been readied and the framework for the parkade is starting to take shape. We anticipate foundation and concrete work to be wrapped up within a month.

We’re excited to be working with Cedarglen Living on the construction phase of the building and are grateful for their expertise and support.

Here’s to continuing to move onward and upward!  We’ll be posting photos throughout the construction phase so please keep checking back here, or HERE for updates.

Read the Stepping Stone Manor backgrounder HERE  and check out the detailed plans HERE.

Volunteers make so much of what we do possible. They help keep our buildings looking spruced-up and in tip top shape. Without volunteers we would never be able to hold the Point in Time Count, or even our annual Fundraiser! Speaking of which, if you haven’t bought your tickets yet to this year’s HOME OPENER with our new Premier set to drop the puck on the last period of Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, click HERE to purchase your tickets.

One volunteer who has made a difference is a filmmaker and This is My City Arts Society (TMC) volunteer, Kevin Jesuino. Throughout the days leading up to the kick-off event for Stepping Stone Manor in the Beltline, Kevin was busy capturing everything on film on behalf of TMC, the event curator.

This is the story he created about the kick-off event.  (Thank you The Calgary Foundation for your support of the event) Stepping Stone Manor is being constructed by Cedarglen Living and  is one of 8 new developments CHF will be building over the next four years as part of the RESOLVE Campaign.

So stay tuned, we’ll be kicking off another project in the fall — watch for news about the upcoming Yarn-bombing TMC will be hosting at our soon to be built Hillhurst Sunnyside apartment building, Aurora on the Park. Like all our buildings, Aurora on the Park is made possible through funding from the Government of Alberta, Municipal Affairs and one of 8 Calgary Homebuilders participating in the RESOLVE Campaign. Thank you Qualico for your support of Aurora on the Park.