Calgary Homeless Foundation: Agencies Target Long-Term Shelter Users for Housing and Support

An Update on the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2011/12 (October 1 - December 31, 2011)

February 17, 2012

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 2012) - By the end of the third quarter, non-profit agencies funded by the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) achieved the annual target of housing 500 chronically and episodically homeless individuals in nine months. At the same time, another $4.6 million in funding was awarded to agencies to provide housing and support, of which $4.0 million is directed to those experiencing chronic homelessness.

"With limited resources, we need to focus our efforts on those who have been in the emergency shelters for a long time," said Tim Richter, CHF President and CEO. "By housing these individuals, we not only help the most vulnerable, but we also free up considerable space in the emergency shelter system."

Table 1

Third quarter (October 1 to December 31) 2011/12 2010/11 Total1
Number of people housed (received affordable housing) 411 430 3,759
Number of people served(assisted within an emergency shelter or provided with support services in CHF funded programs) 6442 2,966 n/a

(1) Represents total since January 2008, when 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in Calgary (10 Year Plan) was implemented. The number of people served since January 2008 is not available as this was not part of reporting at the start of the 10 Year Plan.

(2) The number 'served' are lower due to the removal of data from NeighbourLink and the Canadian Red Cross, which no longer have funding agreements through the CHF.

Table 23,4

Priority populations - Q3 progress5 Housed Served
2011/12 2010/11 2011/12 2010/11
Chronic and episodically homeless6 209 199 276 249
Families with children 70 77 1237 528
Youth (young people up to age 24) 53 34 68 218
Aboriginal Peoples8 112 94 239 421

(3)Table 2 shows distribution of services by priority population. Table 2 totals do not add to the same totals as Table 1 because people can be in more than one category.

(4)Women are a priority population in the updated 10 Year Plan. Women receiving housing and services are currently not tracked separately by agencies, but data will be available with implementation of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

(5)Programs that provide services that do not include housing are under 'Served.' Programs that provide housing are under 'Housed.'

(6)The number for 'Housed' and 'Served' chronic and episodically homeless may have a level of inaccuracy due to different definitions for the terms 'chronic' and 'episodic.' The implementation of the HMIS will significantly improve the quality of data received and reported.

(7)The number 'Served' are lower due to the removal of data from NeighbourLink and the Canadian Red Cross, which no longer have funding agreements through the CHF.

(8)Reported numbers may change based on verifying final numbers with Human Services.

Table 3

Key deliverables Q3 progress (qualitative)
House and support 500 chronically and episodically homeless individuals CHF-funded programs delivered services that housed 209 people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness, for a total of 504 people year-to-date.
Acquire 175 to 230 permanent supportive and affordable housing units The CHF took possession of a building in Thorncliffe with 17 units and purchased a 16-unit building in Connaught, with another potential 50 units under development.
Develop and implement a "System Planning Framework" to guide program, capital and operating investments, and performance expectations The CHF and System Planning Advisory Committee completed the System Planning Framework.
Fundraise for operations and launch capital campaign Year-to-date, $834,471 was raised in operating dollars, including $525,877 in the third quarter. Implementation of the Collaborative Capital Campaign for affordable housing began.

Table 4

10 Year Plan Commitments 2011/12 Business Plan Goal Q3 Progress
House and support 1,500 chronic and episodically homeless people by 2014 House and support 500 chronically and episodically homeless individuals CHF-funded programs housed 209 people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness, for a total of 504 people year-to-date.
Provide access to housing and support options appropriate to the needs of all individuals engaging in rough sleeping (sleeping outside) by December 2014 Enumerate rough sleeping population and develop housing and support for this population Preparations were made for a mid-January Homeless Count, enumerating rough sleepers and those in emergency and short-term housing facilities. Referrals will be offered to those found rough sleeping. The CHF consulted with agencies, public partners and clients to develop the Homeless Count implementation.
Eliminate 85% of emergency shelter beds by 2018 (a 1,700 bed reduction), reducing a minimum of 600 beds by 2014 Reduce 150 emergency shelter beds During December 2011, Human Services (HS) funded shelters in Calgary reported stabilized occupancy levels compared with the same period in 2010. The month showed a decreased rate of use (-5.0% or 103 people) compared with December 2010.
Reduce the average length of stay in emergency shelters to seven days by January 20189 Reduce year-over-year length of stay in family emergency shelters by 10% Two emergency family shelters (Brenda's House and Inn from the Cold) are implementing HMIS to determine an accurate benchmark and gauge progress to reduce length of stay. Brenda's House data from January to November 2011 shows an average length of stay of 28 days.
Reduce the average length of stay in emergency shelters to seven days by January 20189 Establish benchmark for length of stay in the singles emergency shelter system The Mustard Seed Foothills shelter is the first emergency shelter to implement the HMIS. Implementation will determine an accurate benchmark and gauge progress to reduce length of stay.

(9)The objective of the local and provincial 10 Year Plans is to reduce the length of stay in emergency shelters. HS has the responsibility and contractual relationship with emergency shelters to impact achievement of this objective.

Q3 HIGHLIGHTS

  • System Planning Framework developed and will guide 2012/13 contracts with agencies
  • Annual program reviews conducted with 21 agencies and 37 programs
  • RFP process allocated $4.6 million in provincial and federal funding
  • CHF housing portfolio grew to more than 300 units
  • More than $500,000 fund-raised for CHF operations

Strategy

System Planning & Strategy Development

Development of a System Planning Framework (Framework) was completed in November. A 40-member System Planning Advisory Committee (Committee) provided input into key elements of the Framework, which is available online. The Committee recommended the CHF develop an ongoing system planning process in 2012, including receiving input from stakeholders on a quarterly basis. The CHF began working with funded agencies to align 2012/13 contracts with system planning.

Plan to End Youth Homelessness (Youth Plan)

A Youth Advisory Committee was established and will be led by two young people who have experienced homelessness. Goals and strategies in the Youth Plan are being prioritized to determine an implementation plan in the short term, medium term and long term.

Plan to End Aboriginal Homelessness (Aboriginal Plan)

A second draft of the Aboriginal Plan is near completion. More than 40 interviews occurred with people who have experienced homelessness. As well, four focus groups and one community gathering took place. The literature review is complete and synthesis of collected information is underway. A final version of the Aboriginal Plan is expected to be complete by the end of March 2012 for release in April 2012.

Research

A research project to determine best practices for homelessness outreach was conducted, with results to be released in the fourth quarter. Full analysis of the results will guide the development of standards of practice for outreach workers.

In 2011, a publicly-funded program to reduce the spread of infectious disease through shared crack pipes was cancelled. A research project to determine the effectiveness of such programs was done and results will be shared in the coming months.

Programs

During the third quarter, the CHF completed its first annual program reviews with 21 agencies covering 37 programs. The process included formal site visits, staff interviews, reporting and data review, sample case file reviews, client interviews, observations and document reviews (policies, organization chart and staff job descriptions). CHF staff and program representatives discussed what works well and areas for improvement in the program and across the homeless-serving system. In the fourth quarter, the CHF will share with agencies the review results and provide feedback.

In September 2011, the CHF issued Request for Proposals (RFPs) for two streams of funding. Provincial funding through the Ministry of Human Services ($3 million dollars) was dedicated to Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for chronically homeless singles and chronically homeless Aboriginal singles. Successful proponents are described below.

Agency Program Description
Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary and Calgary Urban Project Society PSH for 50 chronic Aboriginal homeless singles, prioritizing long-term shelter stayers. This program will offer scattered site housing, mental health intervention, case management and cultural supports.
Alex Community Health Centre Housing, intensive supports and case management for 30 chronically homeless individuals. The HomeBase program will be expanded to target long-term shelter users, employing a PSH scattered-site housing model.
Calgary Alpha House Society PSH for 50 chronically homeless singles, prioritizing long-term shelter users. Program services will include housing location, case management, and mental and physical health supports for those with active addictions.
Calgary Dream Centre Housing, case management and supports for 50 men with the longest history of homelessness in emergency shelters, leveraging provincial capital funds for homelessness.

The second stream of funding was provided by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development through the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy. Funds were awarded to two types of projects: youth funding and capital projects.

The funding targeting youth programs aligns with the Youth Plan to assist youth who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness, focusing on those with high involvement in public systems (i.e. corrections, child intervention, health, etc.). The successful proponents and program for the $600,000 is below.

Agency Program Description
Calgary John Howard Society & Wood's Homes Calgary John Howard Society will work with Wood's Homes Society to provide a Housing and Intensive Supports program for 40 male youth who are being released from the Calgary Young Offenders Centre, prioritizing those under 18 years, using an intensive case management and scattered-site housing model.

The RFP for capital focused on property acquisition, construction or renovations, and site improvements to support an end to homelessness and to serve people experiencing chronic homelessness and staying in emergency shelters a long time. The successful proponent to receive $1 million (which must be spent by March 31, 2012) is described below.

Agency Project Description
Calgary Alpha House Society Purchase a 20- to 30-unit apartment building to provide PSH for chronically homeless singles, who are actively addressing drug and alcohol dependencies.

All three funding allocations were completed using a competitive RFP process that included Community Action Committee (CAC) representation. The CAC approved the federal youth and capital allocations.

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

The Mustard Seed's emergency shelter implemented HMIS during the quarter, with 70 staff trained and 370 beds configured for daily check-in and check-out. Given a successful implementation, other programs at the Mustard Seed implemented the HMIS to track service provision and case management activities.

The HMIS was implemented at Project Homeless Connect in November to track services required and received by guests.

Housing

During the third quarter, the CHF took possession of a property in Thorncliffe, comprising 17 units, and purchased a property in Connaught, which has 16 units. This adds 27 one-bedroom apartments and six two-bedroom apartments to the CHF's housing portfolio, for a total of 307 units. At the Thorncliffe building, tenants will be clients recovering from addictions and will be referred and supported by Fresh Start (Keys to Recovery). The building in Connaught will house chronically homeless veterans who will be referred and supported by Calgary Alpha House Society. The total project cost (including renovations) was $5.2 million, with $3.6 million provided by Municipal Affairs.

In the third quarter, HUA announced that the CHF was awarded $10.8 million in funding for an additional 100 units of housing for people experiencing homelessness in Calgary. Including the CHF's 307 current units and previously announced provincial grant funding, the CHF has provincial grants for a total of 590 units.

CHF continued to work on property renovations and upgrades. A competitive RFP process for renovations at properties in Cliff Bungalow and Thorncliffe was completed and renovations are underway. Effective vacancies at properties are 4.5%, with agencies moving tenants in as units are ready for occupancy.

Communications and Fund Development

During the third quarter, the CHF raised $525,877 in operating dollars for a total year-to-date of $834,471. The 2011 Premier's House Warming Party on November 8 raised a net total of $145,000, with over 500 people attending. Special thanks to Premier Alison Redford and sponsors, including platinum sponsor TransAlta.

Three concerts were held during the third quarter to benefit the CHF, including a concert at Symons Valley United Church, a choral concert at Lutheran Church of Our Savior and the Blue Christmas Concert. As well, Calgary B'nai Brith contributed $10,000 to the CHF through their 61st Annual Gentlemen's Dinner in December.

The Collaborative Capital Campaign is at the beginning stages of implementation. As part of this three-year fundraising effort, agencies are coming together to raise money for affordable housing in Calgary.

Nearly 900 Calgarians experiencing or at risk of homelessness received services and supports from 49 agencies at the 13th Project Homeless Connect in November, which was relocated to the Atrium at City Hall.

The CHF hosted an All Faiths Breakfast as part of the 15th Homeless Awareness Week to raise awareness and garner support among faith leaders for ending homelessness in Calgary. The breakfast was sponsored by Tim and Susan Hearn and Brian and Anne O'Leary.

Governance

Mr. Les E. Stelmach, Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Bissett Investment Management, joined the Board of Directors during the third quarter.

Financials

Quarter ended December 31 ($) 2011/12 2010/11
Revenues
Operating 1,182,114 904,424
Project 3,364,700 2,826,933
Total revenues 4,546,814 3,731,357
Expenses
Operating 1,392,962 1,389,543
Project 4,922,095 5,012,293
Total expenses 6,315,057 6,401,835
Excess (deficiency) of revenues over expenses (1,768,243 ) (2,670,478 )

Cash decreased $5.59 million during the third quarter ending December 31, 2011, compared with a decrease of $3.26 million in the same quarter in fiscal 2010/11 due to the use of provincial funds received in the second quarter for operations and project payments in the third quarter. Cash use was higher in the third quarter of fiscal 2011/12 compared with the same period in fiscal 2010/11 due to an increase in project payments. A cash decrease of $5.59 million during the third quarter ending December 31, 2011, compared with an increase of $18.58 million in the prior quarter. The balance was higher in the prior quarter due to the receipt of funds from the Government of Alberta for the fiscal 2011/12 Service Delivery Plan in the second quarter, which was partially used for project expenditures in the third quarter. Cash balances in the third quarter ending December 31, 2011 were $3.06 million higher compared with the same quarter in fiscal 2010/11 due to increased funding received from the province in fiscal 2011/12 compared with fiscal 2010/11.

Revenues generated during the third quarter ending December 31, 2011 increased $2.58 million compared with the same quarter in fiscal 2010/11 due to the receipt of funding to support the acquisition of two properties. Revenues generated during the third quarter ending December 31, 2011 decreased by $27.1 million compared with the prior quarter due to the receipt of all provincial project funding for fiscal 2011/12 in the second quarter. Expenses during the third quarter ending December 31, 2011 decreased by $80,000 compared with the same quarter in 2010 due to lower costs related to HMIS, professional fees and leasehold improvements in the third quarter of fiscal 2010/11, offset by higher real property operating costs and employee-related costs in the third quarter of fiscal 2011/12. Expenses during the third quarter ending December 31, 2011 decreased $3.65 million compared with the prior quarter due to significant project payments paid in the second quarter.

In the third quarter ending December 31, 2011, operating activities used $2.24 million of cash for CHF operations and quarterly project payments. In the same quarter, investing activities used $4.9 million due to the purchase of two properties. Financing activities during the same period generated $1.55 million due to entering into mortgages on three properties offset by partial repayment of the line of credit. This compares with the third quarter ending December 31, 2010, when operating activities used $3.38 million as a result of timing of revenue receipt and financing activities generated $118,000.

About the Calgary Homeless Foundation

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 who selected the CHF to implement the 10 Year Plan. The CHF is moving forward on the 10 Year Plan in partnership with the many homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians. Visit calgaryhomeless.com.