Recession Expected to Impact Percentage of New Participants at Calgary's Sixth Project Homeless Connect

September 17, 2009

Calgary, AB – Even though Canada is recovering from a recession, the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) expects that the percentage of new participants attending this Saturdays Project Homeless Connect (PHC) will be continue to be high, based on trends seen at the last two PHC events.

 

At PHC4 in February and PHC5 in May, approximately 60 percent of Calgarians attending indicated they were first-time participants. Given the impacts of the economic downturn, the CHF expects similar percentages of new participants at the sixth PHC in Calgary.

 

“The recession has hit our most vulnerable neighbours and has increased the risk of working families who are finding themselves in need of assistance for the first time,” said Tim Richter, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. “With an estimated 13 percent increase in homelessness in Calgary over the past year, we are already seeing fuller shelters. Rising unemployment, especially amongst lower income workers, high housing costs and an increase in demand for „basic needs related services means that without intervention, the situation is only likely to get worse.”

 

“This is the time to act to ensure those at risk do not fall further,” Richter explained. “As part of Calgarys 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, PHC offers our most vulnerable neighbours strategies and support to overcome obstacles preventing them from having secure, permanent housing,” said Richter.

 

PHC is an event where homeless and at-risk individuals and families can obtain a variety of services and supports in one day under one roof. As with previous PHC events, PHC6 participants will have access to approximately 50 agencies offering housing opportunities, medical treatments and information, addictions and mental health services, income support, employment counselling, educational opportunities and more. Participants can also obtain basic necessities such as clothing, identification, and a hot lunch. PHC6 will also have the opportunity to get haircuts on a first come first serve basis.

 

Although PHC is presented by the CHF, the event is only possible through help from the Calgary community: volunteers, governments, community, social service agencies, non and for profit sectors, and the strong support from financial and in-kind sponsor Suncor Energy, as well as Brookfield Properties who will be providing the venue.

 

“We are pleased to sponsor Project Homeless Connect, as it is a practical, immediate way to contend with the issues the homeless and at-risk individuals face,” said Cathy Glover, Suncor Energys Director of Stakeholder Relations and Community Investment. “As a one-day event that helps individuals and families address so many of their needs in one place, PHC provides our employees with an excellent volunteer opportunity.”

 

PHC will occur on Saturday, September 19th from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Suncor Energy Centre, 150 - 6th Avenue SW, Calgary. The next PHC event will occur on November 21, 2009.

Calgarians wishing to contribute to upcoming PHC events by making donations or volunteering are encouraged to visit www.endinghomelessness.ca.

  

Calgary Homeless Foundation

The Calgary Homeless Foundation leads the implementation of Calgarys 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Issued in January 2008, Calgarys 10 Year Plan was created by the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness, a community-based, multi-stakeholder, leadership group who issued the Plan and selected the Foundation to implement the Plan. The Foundation is moving forward on Calgarys 10 Year Plan in partnership with the many homeless serving agencies, the private sector, our government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in Calgary once and for all.

  

For more information, contact:

Kathleen Polyak

Calgary Homeless Foundation

403-718-8540 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            403-718-8540      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

kathleen@calgaryhomeless.com

Renee Kelly

Suncor Energy

403-470-3759 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            403-470-3759      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

rkelly@suncor.com

 

 For more information on the Calgary Homeless Foundation or the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, please visit www.endinghomelessness.ca or www.calgaryhomeless.com.