Calgary Takes the Lead to Re-House and Support Those Leaving Treatment Programs

October 12, 2010

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 12, 2010) - Calgary agencies are again taking the lead on ending homelessness, with a unique program to re-house and support 75 individuals who would otherwise have been homeless upon completing substance abuse and addictions treatment.

The Calgary Homeless Foundation and Housing and Urban Affairs are contributing $785,000 to this program, led by Fresh Start Recovery Centre's new program called "Keys to Recovery." The program will be implemented by nine agencies serving Calgarians with addictions, including Aventa, Calgary Dream Centre, Sunrise Native Addictions Services, Alpha House, Servants Anonymous, Oxford House, Recovery Acres, Youville Recovery Residence for Women and Fresh Start Recovery Centre.

"When I finished my recovery program, I didn't know where I was going or what I was going to do or where I was going to live," explained Robert a 57-year-old Calgarian who spent three and a half months in treatment at The Centre of Hope for an alcohol problem. After Robert was accepted into the Keys to Recovery program in September, he received housing and the supports required to re-establish himself and maintain sobriety. "Thank you Fresh Start for a chance at a new start," said Robert.

"This program will help those leaving treatment to get the housing and support needed for a full recovery," said Jonathan Denis, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs. "It reflects the province's Housing First model, which shifts the traditional focus of finding people a place to sleep, to finding people a place to live. The result is helping people maintain their housing over the long term."

This program will serve both men and women and there will be a focus on cultural sensitivities. Participants will be determined based on those currently in addiction treatment centres who are most vulnerable and who have no fixed address upon treatment conclusion.

"The great part about this program is that it is a collaboration among nine Calgary agencies who know how critical having a safe, affordable home with the right support is to their clients' ongoing success," said Tim Richter, President & CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation.

The program housed 15 individuals in August and September, and intends to house 12 individuals per month until the end of March 2010, for a total of 75 clients. The program will ramp up in 2011 and 2012 to re-house 100 individuals each year. Housing will be scattered throughout the city, with case support being provided by Keys to Recovery.

In interviews conducted with homeless individuals between October 2008 and February 2009, the CHF found that 85% of homeless individuals reported having substance abuse issues and 58% reported receiving treatment for addictions. The study used the Re-Housing Triage and Assessment Survey, a tool to identify and prioritize people for housing based on the fragility of their health and included 315 individuals. 

Learn more about this ground-breaking program at the Media Conference. Details below:

Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 
Time: 11:00 am 
Location: Siksika Room
  McDougall Centre 
  455 6th Street SW
  Calgary, AB 

On-Site Interview Opportunities:

  • Honourable Jonathan Denis, QC, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs
  • Ms. Karen Crowther, Director, Keys to Recovery, Fresh Start Recovery Centre
  • Mr. Stacey Petersen, Executive Director, Fresh Start Recovery Centre
  • Mr. Tim Richter, President and CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation
  • Two to three individuals being assisted by Keys to Recovery program