Province helps Calgary's homeless find permanent homes

December 14, 2009

Calgary... Alberta has taken another step towards implementing its 10-year plan to end homelessness.  The province is providing $6.2 million to the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) for the purchase or development of 52 permanent homes for the homeless in Calgary.

“Today is a great day, as it is the first time that capital funding has been provided to support permanent housing for our homeless,” said Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Yvonne Fritz.  “I am pleased to partner with the Calgary Homeless Foundation to support homes that will make a profound difference in the lives of our most vulnerable Calgarians.”
 

Budget ‘09 committed a total of $100 million for the creation of over 700 units in communities across the province.  An additional $32 million was provided to help community-based agencies deliver support services for those moving into the units.  Services include treatment for addictions and mental illness, life skills training and help finding employment.

“Alberta has become a national leader in ending homelessness. The Province is to be commended for establishing this significant capital funding program to build homes for the homeless,” says Tim Richter, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. “We'll move forward immediately to secure these 52 units for homeless individuals, couples and families.”

Rather than constructing new housing units, the CHF will use the funding to purchase or develop existing housing situated throughout Calgary.  This approach takes advantage of current housing market conditions and will make homes available more quickly.

In March, Alberta became the first Canadian province to endorse a provincial 10-year plan to end homelessness.  Alberta’s 10-year plan to end homelessness is based on a “Housing First” model that provides long-term housing along with the health and social supports homeless people need to resolve underlying issues and break the cycle of homelessness.  For more information on A Plan for Alberta: Ending Homelessness in 10 Years, please visit www.housing.alberta.ca.

Maintaining support for the programs and services Albertans need most, such as health care, education and safe and vibrant communities, is an important part of The Way Forward - Alberta’s plan for economic recovery. For more information on this plan visit www.alberta.ca.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Barbra Korol, Communications
Housing and Urban Affairs
780-644-6838 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            780-644-6838      end_of_the_skype_highlighting / cell 780-966-8141 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            780-966-8141      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
barbra.korol@gov.ab.ca
To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

Kathleen Polyak
Calgary Homeless Foundation
403-718-8540 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            403-718-8540      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
kathleen@calgaryhomeless.com