On October 22, 2020, Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) and its community partners celebrated the opening of The James House through the launch of a new microsite, featuring a video that provides an exclusive peek into the building itself, and insight from those who made the building a reality.
Building Lifelong Success
The James House, which offers 27 units in a building located in the community of Hillhurst, will house vulnerable and homeless Calgarians and provide them with the supports they need to help them begin their journey towards health and independence.
Agency provider McMan Calgary & Area will focus on connecting residents of The James House to natural supports, such as family and friends, and assist them in becoming members of the community within a targeted stay of ten months. Residents will also work with a diversion advocate to secure financial supports, liaise with landlords, and find appropriate accommodation.
“Our innovative service model leverages friends, family, community and professional supports to holistically address each resident’s unique needs and help them attain their goals,” says Soraya Saliba, Executive Director of McMan Calgary & Area. She adds: “The relationships, connections and skills residents will build at The James House are critical to their lifelong well-being and success.”
With McMan offering a broad spectrum of services, Calgarians can move from homelessness into a home with 24/7 supports that focus on their health, financial stability, and community connections.
An Unprecedented Collaboration
For agencies serving people experiencing homelessness, The James House represents an unprecedented collaboration between the public and private sector.
On the public side, the Government of Canada (through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) supported the project alongside the Government of Alberta, and the City of Calgary provided a non-market land disposition.
On the private side, philanthropic donors Logel Homes and Cardel Homes developed the property with non-market developer and building manager HomeSpace Society, which will continue to own and operate the building.
Patricia Jones, CEO of CHF, says the collaboration between the parties is a “demonstration that homelessness can end when we intentionally choose to work together.”
Bernadette Madjell, CEO of HomeSpace Society, adds: “Our strong community partnerships are critical for the work we do in continually adding new affordable housing in our city and providing homes, safety and dignity to some of Calgary’s most vulnerable residents.”
A Personal Legacy
In addition to having an opportunity to partner with the public sector and provide a second chance to Calgarians experiencing homelessness, The James House is a deeply personal project for Tim Logel, President and CEO of Logel Homes and Co-Founder of Cardel Lifestyles.
“When I first moved to Calgary in 1978, looking for my first job, and with little money, I struggled to find a place to live,” Logel says. “For a short time, I was in my tent in a KOA camp, and will not forget the feeling of not having a home.”
Logel says his passion for homebuilding was ignited after helping his father build a barn on an Ontario farm when he was 14. The James House is named after his father, and Logel says his father would be honoured to have his name on a building that is providing a home to vulnerable Calgarians.
“A Stable Foundation”
Buildings like The James House highlight the importance of home as a foundation for a person’s life, and the place where healing can begin.
When Jeffrey Yellowfly moved to Calgary, one of his main goals was to obtain a place for himself. “[H]aving permanent living quarters would give me better opportunities to access all my other needs to maintain a proper lifestyle,” he says.
Today, Jeffrey is a natural support for a housing client of McMan. He describes housing as “the most integral part of having a healthy living environment.”
Jones agrees and says The James House will “provide a place of belonging, and a stable foundation upon which all other healing happens.”
To the residents of The James House — welcome home!
For more information on the building, visit: www.thejameshouse.ca.