Calgary Emergency Cold Weather Winter Response – UPDATE
February 17, 2022

Calgary Homeless Foundation, in collaboration with the City of Calgary, Government of Alberta, United Way, shelter agencies, community organizations, and outreach teams are implementing several measures as part of the Coordinated Community Winter Response. CHF has engaged in conversations with community partners to inform immediate actions, such as those listed below. We are also committed to ongoing collaboration with community partners to develop long-term responses to better serve those experiencing homelessness.

Community success spotlight:

On the opening day of The Alex’s warming centre, two participants sought a place to warm up but tested positive for COVID-19 after being offered rapid antigen testing services. That day, they chose to be transported to the Assisted Self-Isolation Site, a dedicated space for people with no fixed address to complete their isolation requirements and connect with health and wellness services. This means that their decision to seek immediate warmth led to several nights of safe shelter, connection with medical support and social services, and the possibility of applying for a home of their own.

Below are the week’s additional updates on the goals of the Coordinated Community Winter response:

Create more warm spaces

This week’s update:

  • Warming centres have collectively served 512 individuals this week. They continue to be used despite the warmer weather, which may highlight that those who use the centres repeatedly have found a sense of safety and connection with other participants and centre staff.

Provide basic winter safety essentials

This week’s update:

  • The Outreach Basic Needs Distribution Centre fulfilled orders for four outreach teams worth a total of $6,815 this week, including food and water, winter clothing, tents, hygiene items, PPE, and harm reduction supplies.
  • Four outreach teams voluntarily reported their work this week, with a combined total of 78 hours of outreach work in the community, 937 interactions supporting individuals, 21 direct service referrals and four transports to shelter or services.
  • The Mustard Seed’s Outreach team, Seed Reach, extended their weekday operating hours, ending at 11 p.m. each day instead of 4 p.m.

Support community efforts to reduce barriers to accessing shelter

This week’s update:

  • Alpha House DOAP Main team completed 363 transports. Of those transports, referrals they completed were: 34 from Calgary Police Service, 14 from Emergency Medical Service, 39 from Bylaw/Transit, five from Calgary Fire Department and 41 calls from concerned citizens.