In 2021, Calgary City Council had allocated $750,000 for a Coordinated Community Winter Response (CCWR). This was in response to factors like overcrowding at transit stations, sustained temperatures of below -20 degrees and issues arising from the pandemic. The United Way of Calgary and Area made an additional investment of $100,000 in January 2022, to be leveraged to support this initiative, bringing total funding to $850,000.
In 2022, the City of Calgary approved funding of $2.8 million over four years from the Community Safety Investment Framework (CSIF) fund for the Coordinated Community Extreme Weather Response. CCEWR is a comprehensive and collaborative process with the City of Calgary, Alberta government, shelter agencies, community organizations and outreach teams to implement measures to provide support to vulnerable and unsheltered individuals facing extreme weather conditions. This includes addressing not only immediate needs for shelter and safety, but also for the broader well-being of those individuals including access to healthcare, social support, and long-term solutions for homelessness.
CHF will continue to fund and coordinate the distribution of essential items to vulnerable individuals and families. With extreme weather and increased outreach teams in the community, there is a need to provide outreach with essential items for distribution. The goal of this initiative is to have a central location for outreach teams and service providers to be able to access essential items and extreme weather supplies on a weekly basis. Supplies will be seasonal and based on urgent needs and feedback from outreach teams and service providers. The Calgary Drop-in Centre facilitates the procurement of supplies, manages orders, and provides storage space and pick-up location.
There are a variety of items that are requested by outreach teams from people experiencing homelessness. Some of the essential items that contribute to a person’s wellness are: gloves, coats, boots, socks, hats, snacks, water, hygiene products and personal care items like nail clippers and toothbrushes.