Wood's Homes and Calgary Homeless Foundation: New Project Provides Homeless Youth in Calgary with Housing and Support

October 25, 2010

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2010) - Eight homeless youth in Calgary are being permanently housed with support to match their needs thanks to a new Wood's Homes project funded by the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF).

The project - called New Horizon - targets highly-vulnerable youth (18-24) who are living in shelters, sleeping on the street or who are leaving the child welfare system without the skills and resources to live independently. In most cases, these young people are well known by Wood's Homes and other social service agencies.

"Unlike most young people who get help from family and friends, these young people do not have the same support," says Madelyn McDonald, manager of Wood's Homes Street Services. "New Horizon now offers that support, as we provide them with safe, affordable housing and help them develop life skills so they can live independent, fulfilling lives."

The project aligns with the CHF's goals to target priority homeless populations such as young people (up to the age of 24). The one-year project will cost about $250,000 and will access funding from the Government of Alberta Service Delivery Plan. New Horizon also aligns with the Plan to End Youth Homelessness in Calgary.

"This project is a tangible start to addressing youth homelessness, but a lot more must be done, says Tim Richter, President and CEO of Calgary's Homeless Foundation. "The Plan to End Youth Homelessness in Calgary will be released in the coming months as another impetus for change."

Wood's Homes is leasing eight apartment units from the Horizon Housing Society. Youth will receive furnished apartments, with regular access to support workers who customize plans and goals to help young people transition to independent living. Young people with complex social and mental health issues will have access to necessary services and support as long as needed.

Wood's Homes promotes and assists the development and well-being of children, youth and families within their community. Founded as an orphanage in 1914, Wood's Homes is a nationally accredited, not-for-profit organization that employs 350 people. It provides 34 programs and services in Calgary, Lethbridge, Strathmore, Canmore, Fort McMurray and Fort Smith, N.W.T. Programs include Crisis & Counselling; In-Home Support and Foster Care; Street Services; Specialized Learning Centres; Intensive Residential Treatment; Outcome-Based Service Delivery; and Youth in Transition programs. For more information, visit www.woodshomes.ca.

The CHF leads the implementation of Calgary's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Issued in January 2008, Calgary's 10 Year Plan was created by the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness, a community-based, multi-stakeholder, leadership group which issued the Plan and selected the CHF to implement it. The CHF partners with homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, our government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in this city. For more information, visit www.calgaryhomeless.com or www.woodshomes.ca