KAIROS Calgary and Calgary Homeless Foundation Partner to Help Homeless Families

March 02, 2011

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - Ten Christian denominations with more than 130 churches have joined forces to help families at risk of or experiencing homelessness as they are housed with support at an affordable housing complex owned by the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) in southeast Calgary.

The fundraising campaign in support of the project, called "A Place to Call Home: Acadia Place," will see KAIROS Calgary aim to raise $1.5 million to pay down half of the property's mortgage. By reducing the financing costs on the mortgage, the CHF can reduce break-even rents on a sustainable basis, making them more affordable for those families in most need. Volunteers from the participating churches will also help by providing support to families and pitching in on building projects.

"This is one of the largest ecumenical efforts we know of in Canada to help families at risk of or experiencing homelessness," said Geoff Zakaib, Chair of the KAIROS Calgary Homelessness Working Group. "Today we are publically launching the fundraising campaign and we are hoping for a compassionate response to this project."

The Christian denominations participating in the project are the Anglican, Christian Reformed, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Quakers, Roman Catholics, United, Canadian Baptists of Western Canada and Christian Science churches.

"The faith community has traditionally been leaders in the response to homelessness," said Tim Richter, President and CEO, CHF. "With this announcement, the faith community is once again showing its leadership and willingness to step up to the plate to end homelessness in Calgary."

Acadia Place is a 58-unit apartment complex purchased by the Calgary Homeless Foundation in 2009 for approximately $9 million, made up of $5.95 million from the Government of Alberta, $541,000 from The City of Calgary and a $3.15 million mortgage.

The complex is located near schools and public transit and is ideal for families. Once housed, families receive support either from dedicated case managers or through general tenant support from Aspen Family Services. Property management for the complex is provided by Horizon Housing. Support is also provided by volunteers from the faith community and the local area as was evidenced by the help to build a playground for the children last fall.

To learn more or contribute to "A Place to Call Home: Acadia Place," call 403 237 6456, visit www.acadiaplace.com or email acadia@calgaryhomeless.com.

KAIROS Calgary is a local ecumenical justice initiative, which links with the KAIROS national organization. The national organization unites Canadian churches and religious organizations in a faithful ecumenical response to the call to "do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8) Among KAIROS Calgary's priorities is helping homeless families in our city through the fundraising campaign A Place to Call Home: Acadia Place (see www.acadiaplace.com).

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.