When someone becomes homeless, we know it’s important to get them back into a home with supports—quickly— because when they are housed, they can begin healing and addressing the many things that may have led to their experience of homelessness.
In our city, there are many government-run public systems and non-profit agencies working hard to make sure people are supported, but how does all of that get coordinated to make sure that both dollars and resources are meeting people’s needs in the most effective, efficient and responsible way?
That’s where a Community Based Organization, or CBO, steps in.
The Value of a CBO
Imagine that the ecosystem that we work in is divided into two main groups. On one side, we have philanthropists and donors wanting to make a real difference, and primary public systems such as housing, Income Supports, health, and children’s services, looking at how to best allocate taxpayer dollars to achieve the best outcomes. On the other, we have non-profit agencies doing incredible work to support individuals experiencing homelessness in our city.
The individual entities that make up both of these layers are focused on helping vulnerable Calgarians the best way they can, but they aren’t able to easily see what all the others are doing. As a result, there’s no way for them to coordinate and measure their shared goals or the collective impact of the work they do.
That’s why, sitting between them, we have a nonprofit CBO such as Calgary Homeless Foundation. Like a mountain guide who clearly sees and understands the landscape, we can clearly see and understand the landscape of homelessness within our city and can best guide the fight to end it.
Using information gathered through our Homeless Management Information System, we provide the government-run primary public systems with data, research, and evaluation, which allows them to measure the outcomes of their decisions and to better allocate funding to address homelessness in a proven and cost-effective way. We also use the same information to demonstrate to our philanthropic supporters how their gifts are making a real difference in people’s lives.
Our broader system view, along with our data and research, are why our supporters and the government trust us to distribute funding to the agencies who offer programs and supports to those who need it most.
Our understanding of the landscape of homelessness also brings homeless-serving agencies within Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care together to strengthen existing programs and services, to collaborate in the creation of new pilot programs, and to provide them with data, information, and visibility which allows them to better meet their goals.
A CBO Helps to Coordinate the Complex System
A system this big requires coordination. Calgary Homeless Foundation, as the CBO guiding the fight against homelessness in Calgary, helps to coordinate it to get people get back into a home with the support they need to live happy and successful lives.
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Rocky Mountain Plaza
Suite 1500, 615 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 4T8