At Calgary Homeless Foundation, we hope that one day, all inhabitants of the city will sleep in the safety of their own homes. However, we know that reaching this goal of “absolute zero” homelessness is difficult without major changes to the public systems of health, children’s services, income supports and justice.
That’s why we use the concept of “Functional Zero” to measure progress towards ending homelessness. Under Functional Zero, success doesn’t mean that no one will ever experience homelessness again. Instead, it means:
- Increasing housing spaces so there are more spaces available than people who need them, and
- Creating a systematic response that prevents people from experiencing homelessness – or if they do, ensuring their experience is rare, brief and doesn’t happen again.
Functional Zero therefore focuses on what is achievable within the current landscape. It provides a meaningful way for Calgary Homeless Foundation to track the success of its work as we all strive towards the ultimate goal of ending homelessness in Calgary.