Media Release: Premier Stelmach Announces Funding for Partnership to End Homelessness for Chronically Homeless Calgarians

October 20, 2010

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2010) - Premier Ed Stelmach today joined the Calgary Homeless Foundation in announcing $1.034 million in funding to house and support 50 to 60 of Calgary's most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals.

The Encampment and Police and Crisis Team (PACT) Response Team is a partnership between Calgary Alpha House Society, CUPS Health and Education Centres, law enforcement and Alberta Health Services. The announcement was made at Ed's House Warming Party, an annual fundraiser for the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF).

"Through our provincial 10-year plan to end homelessness, we encourage partnerships that reflect the Housing First approach of providing permanent housing with support services," said Premier Stelmach. "The partnership shows how working together can help chronically homeless individuals find long-term homes and get the help they need to be more independent."

The Encampment and PACT Response Team, spearheaded by Calgary Alpha House Society and CUPS Health and Education Centres, brings together Calgary Animal and By-Law Services and PACT to help individuals who have been sleeping outside in encampments and in Calgary parks. PACT is a partnership between Calgary Police Services and Alberta Health Services where Calgary police officers are paired with mental health workers to provide severe crisis intervention and immediate access to services and programs. 

The $1.034 million in program funding from the Alberta government is provided by Housing and Urban Affairs to the Encampment and Response Team through the CHF. The goal is to house and support 50 to 60 chronically homeless individuals.

"This team of homeless serving agencies, law enforcement and health services shows what can be accomplished when the community mobilizes to help Calgary's most vulnerable, chronically homeless citizens," said Tim Richter, CHF President and CEO.

Alpha House's Executive Director, Kathy Christiansen, echoed these comments, "We, along with CUPS Health and Education Centres, are very pleased to partner with Calgary By-Law Services and PACT. This collaborative effort amongst front line services and social agencies allows us to respond effectively to the needs of individuals who struggle with long-time homelessness. Through the years, we've built relationships with people who have been living outside and struggling with various issues. Now we have the resources to house them and give them hope."

The Government of Alberta's 10-year plan takes a Housing First approach, providing individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness with permanent homes with supports. This year, the province increased their financial commitment for outreach supports and services delivered through community agencies by $10 million for a total of $42 million. One of the programs being funded is the Encampment and PACT Response Team collaboration.

All of the proceeds from Ed's Housewarming Party, including tonight's ticket sales, auction items and donations will go directly to support the Foundation's affordable housing units and the tenants living in these buildings. This evening's event raised more than $110,000 and more than 250 guests attended.

Ed's House Warming Party is just the beginning. Calgarians are asked to host their own house warming parties to raise funds for the CHF's Home for the Holidays campaign. Money raised through these parties will go towards ending homelessness in our city. More information can be found at www.calgaryhomeless.com.

The Calgary Homeless Foundation would like to thank all Ed's House Warming Party sponsors: Royal Bank of Canada (Presenting Sponsor), Canadian Oil Sands Trust (Materials Sponsor), Alger & Associates Inc., ATB Corporate Financial Services, Boardwalk REIT, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Enbridge Inc., Tim and Susan Hearn, and Brian and Anne O'Leary. The Foundation would also like to recognise in-kind sponsors: AVW-TELAV, Big Rock Brewery, Nexus Exhibits, The Metropolitan Centre, Toole Peete Insurance and Willow Park Wines & Spirits.