Homeless program receives $900,000 boost from government

September 12, 2008

CUPS Rapid Exit Program aims to house 300 homeless individuals next year


CALGARY, Alberta (September 12, 2008) – Three hundred homeless people in Calgary will have a place to call home by this time next year thanks to the expansion of the Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) Rapid Exit program.


An injection of over $900,000 from the provincial government will enable the Rapid Exit program, which has already found homes for 60 homeless Calgary families, to expand its services to single people.


Premier Ed Stelmach announced the new funding while speaking at an event celebrating the success of the CUPS Rapid Exit Housing Families Program.


“As a parent, I know how important it is for children to have stability and security.” said Premier Stelmach. “I commend the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the Calgary Urban Project Society on the tremendous gains they have made with this program to house the city’s homeless families and I wish them every success as they work towards their goal of housing 300 homeless single adults over the next year.”


The pilot program identified and obtained rental housing for families and then ensured both the families and the landlords were satisfied with continued tenancies. The expanded Rapid Exit singles program will work similarly.


Tim Richter, President of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, is encouraged by the program’s results, “The Rapid Exit team has done a brilliant job. This is a living, breathing example of a housing first program that demonstrates what is possible under the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. We are thrilled with the support we’ve received from the government, and look forward to even greater success with the expanded pilot.”


The Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) is a not-for-profit community health centre in Calgary's downtown core. Offering collaborative and holistic services in the areas of health care, education and social services, CUPS Community Health Centre helps people make the transition from poverty to stability.


The Calgary Homeless Foundation exists to end homelessness in Calgary. The Foundation is implementing the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Calgary. View the Plan at www.calgaryhomeless.com or www.calgaryhomeless.com.


Contact: Calgary Homeless Foundation

Sheridan McVean 403-718-8539 or

Larissa Kennedy 403-718-8540  




CUPS Rapid Exit Housing Individuals Program


  • — Extends current Families pilot program by identifying rental accommodation for homeless individuals
  • — Same operational approach as the successful Families pilot program (see below)
  • — Goal is to provide housing for 300 individuals out of emergency homeless shelters over the next year
  • Funding of $910,682 for the expanded pilot provided by Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs through the Transitional Housing Initiative


CUPS Rapid Exit Housing Families Program

  • — Pilot program developed by CUPS with the Calgary Homeless Foundation
  • — The project received $702,600 in funding from Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs 
  •   through the Outreach Initiative Pilot Project
  • — Adapted from similar program based in Hennepin County, Minnesota
  • — CUPS staff operate the program by:
    •  - Recruiting private landlords willing to rent accommodation
    •  - Identifying families in need of housing
    •  - Identifying rental accommodation suitable for specific family in need
    •  - Identifying any potential issues between tenants and landlord and work to
    • overcome them
    •  - Assisting with damage deposit and/or first month’s rent
    •  - Acting as liaison between tenant and landlord
    •  - Resolving issues between both parties
  •   Pilot program placed first family into rental accommodation on December 7, 2007
  •   Year One target: placing 60 formerly homeless families into housing -- achieved in
  • August 2008, four months ahead of schedule
  • — Year Two target: placement of another 60 formerly homeless families into housing