Premier Announces $1.179 Million Investment to House and Support 360 homeless Calgarians

October 06, 2009

Calgary, ABPremier Ed Stelmach will present a cheque for $1.179 million to Calgary’s Mustard Seed Street Ministry to house and support 360 men and women from the Mustard Seed’s emergency shelter over the next year. Funding comes from Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs and includes $100,000 raised tonight at Ed’s House Warming Party – an annual fundraiser to support the Calgary Homeless Foundation.


“The Government of Alberta is committed to ending homelessness in the province in the next 10 years,” said Premier Stelmach. “This investment is an important step toward that goal. I am pleased to support the excellent work of the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the Mustard Seed tonight.”


“We’re really turning a page on homelessness in Calgary,” says Tim Richter, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. “Tonight we’ve had one of our most successful fundraisers ever; the Government of Alberta is making a major down payment on their commitment to end homelessness, and most importantly, tonight is the beginning of the end of homelessness for at least 360 men and women.”


“We’re thrilled we can support Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, but more importantly that we can help 360 men and women break dependence on the shelter system and build long-term assets that lead to successful re-housing,” stated Pat Nixon, Founder and CEO of the Mustard Seed Society.


The announced investment provides staffing and supports to fast-track 360 Mustard Seed clients from an emergency shelter into stable, independent rental housing using a Housing First approach. Once formerly homeless adults have the stability of their own home, the Mustard Seed will offer ongoing support to ensure they keep their housing.


The Mustard Seed will continue to provide emergency services (i.e. food, shelter, clothing, showers, hygiene items, etc.), but this new investment will enable clients to be fast-tracked into housing by providing basic housing items, move-out transportation and on-going aftercare support. The Mustard Seed will also continue to offer education, employment and recreation programs to help ensure long-term success.


Ed’s House Warming Party is the launch of the Calgary Homeless Foundation’s fall 2009 fundraising campaign titled Home for the Holidays. The event is hosted by Premier, and all proceeds from the fundraising event – approximately $100,000 – were included in the cheque presented to the Mustard Seed.


The Foundation’s Home for Holidays campaign solicits donations to accelerate the number of homeless families and individuals going into housing and off the streets and away from crowded shelters. The funds raised will go directly to housing and to supporting the homeless through existing programs. This includes requests for financial donations from the public for house wares, furniture, damage deposits and other needs for people leaving homelessness and moving into housing. Details on the campaign are available at and

The Government of Alberta’s 10-year plan to end homelessness takes a “housing first” approach – providing homeless people with permanent homes, followed by the supports they need to maintain their stability. This year, the province will invest a total of $32 million for outreach supports and services to be delivered through community agencies. This includes more than $1 million to help the Mustard Seed break the cycle of homelessness for its clients.


Tonight as many as 4,500 Calgarians will have no place to call home. They’ll sleep in shelters, on the streets or in cars or couch surf with friends. Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness has already successfully housed or prevented the homelessness of hundreds of men, women and children.


For more information, contact:

Kathleen Polyak

Calgary Homeless Foundation



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