Calgary Homeless Foundation: Agencies Work Together on Winter Emergency Response Plan

An Update on the Second Quarter of Fiscal 2011/12 (July 1 - September 30, 2011)

December 05, 2011

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2011) - In the second quarter, the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) began planning for winter emergency response, which is now being rolled out to ensure enough low barrier shelter beds are in place, those sleeping outside are offered shelter and rehousing, and Calgarians know who to call if they see someone needing shelter from the cold.

"With another cold winter ahead of us, our priority is to prevent people from freezing to death," said Tim Richter, CHF President and CEO. "Everyone in the community has a role to play. Government is funding an additional 134 shelter beds, agencies are engaging homeless encampments, and we're aiming to rehouse 70 chronically homeless persons. Calgarians can also help if they see someone at risk of the elements, by calling the 211 and 311 help lines so an outreach team can come to the person's aid."

During the second quarter, the CHF welcomed Steve Snyder, President and CEO of TransAlta Corporation, as Chair of the Board of Directors. The CHF also organized the launch of the first city-wide Plan to End Youth Homelessness in Canada, which was collaboratively written and will be implemented by the CHF and Calgary's youth-serving agencies.

Table 1

Second Quarter (July 1 to September 30) 2011/12 2010/11 Since January 2008 1
Number of people housed (received affordable housing) 354 369 3,348
Number of people served(assisted within an emergency shelter or provided with support services in CHF funded programs) 792 2,698 n/a
  1. Represents total since January 2008, when the 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 Plan.

The number of people served during the second quarter of 2011/12 was lower in comparison with the same period in the prior year due to the CHF no longer funding NeighbourLink Calgary (1,537 people served in the second quarter of 2010/11) and the Canadian Red Cross (477 people served in the second quarter of 2010/11).

Table 2 2,3

Priority populations - Q2 progress 4 Housed Served
2011/12 2010/11 2011/12 2010/11
Chronic and episodically homeless 5 143 218 174 256
Families with children 80 56 185 490
Youth (young people up to age 24) 30 26 58 175
Aboriginal Peoples 66 79 308 496
  1. Table 2 shows distribution of services by priority population. Table 2 totals do not add to Table 1 totals because people can be in more than one category.
  2. 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).
  3. Programs that provide services that do not include housing are under 'Served.' Programs that provide housing are under 'Housed.'
  4. 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.

* Reported number may change based on verifying final numbers with Human Services.

The number of people who were experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness and were housed and served during the second quarter of 2011/12 decreased compared with the same period in 2010/11. For those housed, the decrease was because there was a plateau in the number of clients being housed in programs such as the Mustard Seed Aftercare Program (housed five people in the second quarter of 2011/12 compared with 51 people in the second quarter of 2010/11) and The Alex HomeBase Program (housed nine people in the second quarter of 2011/12 compared with 26 people in the second quarter of 2010/11). For those served, the decrease was because the CHF no longer funded the Calgary Dream Centre Shelter (110 people served in the second quarter of 2010/11) and the Salvation Army Diversion Program (67 people served in the second quarter 2010/11).

The number of families housed during the second quarter of 2011/12 increased compared with the same period in the prior year because the CHF added funding to the Inn from the Cold's case management program.

The number of families and youth served decreased in the second quarter of 2011/12 compared with the same period in the prior year because the CHF no longer funded NeighbourLink Calgary (261 families and 107 youth served in the second quarter of 2010/11) and the Canadian Red Cross (107 families and 41 youth served in the second quarter of 2010/11).

The number of Aboriginal People served decreased in the second quarter of 2011/12 compared with the same period in the prior year because the CHF no longer funded Neighbourlink Calgary (227 Aboriginal People served in the second quarter of 2010/11).

Table 3

Key deliverables Q2 progress (qualitative)
House and support 500 chronically and episodically homeless individuals CHF-funded programs delivered services that rehoused
143 people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness.
Acquire 175 to 230 permanent supportive and affordable housing units The CHF purchased 17 units of affordable housing in Thorncliffe, with another potential 58 units under development.
Develop and implement a "system planning framework" to guide program, capital and operating investments, and performance expectations The System Planning Advisory Committee developed a common acuity assessment, triage process, program and system indicators and benchmarks.
Fundraise for operations and launch capital campaign As of Sept. 30, 2011, $308,594 was raised in operating dollars for the year, including $200,265 during the quarter. Discussions between the CHF and agencies are in progress to set the framework for a Collaborative Capital Campaign.

Table 4

10 Year Plan Commitments 2011/12 Business Plan Goal Q2 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 143 people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness.
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 A city-wide count of those sleeping outside will be conducted in January 2012. Upon consultation with stakeholders, the CHF moved the count from December as shelter counts tend to go down during Christmas time and would not be accurate assessments of need. The count includes a facility and rough sleeper survey.
Eliminate 85% of emergency shelter beds by 2018 (a 1,700 bed reduction), reducing the minimum of 600 beds by 2014 Reduce 150 emergency shelter beds Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA), the Salvation Army and CHF worked together to determine it was time to close 131 emergency shelter spaces (first quarter 2011/12) and 58 transitional spaces (second quarter 2011/12) at the Booth Centre.

During September 2011, Human Services-funded shelters in Calgary reported continued stabilization and signs of decreasing occupancy levels compared with the same period in 2010. The month showed decreased rate of use (8% or 176 people) compared with September 2010.
Reduce the average length of stay in emergency shelters to seven days by January 2018 6 Establish benchmark for length of stay in the singles emergency shelter system
The CHF is implementing a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) in emergency shelters in Calgary to determine an accurate benchmark of shelter use and gauge progress to reduce length of stay. The Mustard Seed Foothills Shelter is the pilot for this implementation. Staff training will commence October 1, 2011.

The CHF launched three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to develop housing and supports for homeless Calgarians, focused on long-term emergency shelter stayers.
Reduce the average length of stay in emergency shelters to seven days by January 2018 6 Reduce year-over-year length of stay in family emergency shelters by 10% Both of Calgary's emergency family shelters are implementing HMIS to determine an accurate benchmark and gauge progress to reduce length of stay. Brenda's House and Inn from the Cold staff were trained and are using HMIS.
  1. The objective of the local and provincial 10 Year Plans is to reduce the length of stay in emergency shelters. HUA has the responsibility and contractual relationship with emergency shelters to impact achievement of this objective.

Q2 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Steve Snyder succeeds Tim Hearn as Chair of the Board of Directors
  • Calgary's Plan to End Youth Homelessness launched
  • Mustard Seed Foothills Shelter pilots HMIS
  • Three funding RFPs released

Strategy

The CHF partnered with the University of Calgary, the Calgary John Howard Society and five women who had experienced homelessness and incarceration to develop a research project to determine gaps in services that exacerbate the cycling between incarceration and homelessness.

The University of Calgary, CHF and Youth Sector began research to determine the unique issues leading to or preventing homeless youth from becoming entrenched in adult homelessness.

The CHF and the University of Calgary submitted funding proposals to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research for two research projects. One is to study the impact of social supports on success rates for people exiting correctional facilities and the other is to study the migration patterns and factors that lead Aboriginal people to Calgary.

Calgary's Plan to End Youth Homelessness (Youth Plan) was successfully launched in August 2011. The first step in implementation was to establish a Youth Advisory Panel to provide ongoing youth feedback and planning support, and to play an integral role in decision making as the Youth Plan is implemented. The City of Calgary and a Youth Co-lead will lead the Panel. The second step was to create an implementation plan for the first year of the Youth Plan. Consultation began on how to address youth homelessness within the adult shelter system and on potential youth housing models.

The CHF formalized its relationship with the Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness (ASCHH) to co-create a Plan to End Aboriginal Homelessness in Calgary. The initial draft is being developed and reviewed internally and will then be shared with community members at focus groups and community gatherings. Feedback will go into the final document, which will be completed by March 2012.

The CHF continued work with the System Planning Advisory Committee to develop a common assessment method to gauge client acuity for better system planning. The Committee recommended the CHF tailor assessment to the needs of singles, families and youth. The Committee is clarifying program eligibility criteria so triage into services is streamlined and transparent. The Committee agreed upon common indicators and benchmarks to assess program and system performance. The next step is to determine the Committee's future role in system planning.

In the second quarter, HUA provided the CHF with the results of an audit that was conducted during the first quarter on the CHF's contract management and financial oversight practices. The contract compliance review found that the CHF was compliant with 25 out of 28 clauses of their Grant Funding Agreement with HUA. The CHF is working with HUA to come into compliance on the remaining three clauses within the third quarter.

A review of the CHF's monitoring practices identified the CHF was strong in the areas of establishing good relationships, being responsive and resolving issues with service-providers. Areas of improvement will be addressed through CHF's case management standards and newly developed program performance management process. This process includes more stringent program quality assurance and financial monitoring. Programs will undergo program site visits in the third quarter using a monitoring tool. These program site visits will be conducted on an annual basis.

The CHF issued three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in the second quarter. The first RFP accesses $3 million in HUA funding and focuses on rehousing and support for people experiencing long-term homelessness. At least one program will be specific to Aboriginal People. The other two RFPs are through the Government of Canada's Homeless Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding. One RFP, with an annual budget of over $718,000, will award funding to projects aligned with the Youth Plan and focused on youth highly involved in public systems. The other RFP designates $1 million in capital to permanent affordable housing and/or to non-residential capital projects supporting an end to homelessness.

Due to the federal election, funding for new programs under the HPS Designated Communities Agreement for fiscal 2011 to 2014 was delayed at the beginning of the year. The Community Plan was signed in July 2011, allowing CHF to distribute this funding appropriately.

During the second quarter, HMIS training for 20 agencies (consisting of 70 programs and nearly 300 employees) was completed. Most agencies are live on the system. Overall implementation has gone well, with the primary challenges being in alignment with diverse interests and groups, technical issues and data quality as staff learn the software.

Work began on the Winter Emergency Response Plan during the quarter. An additional 134 temporary, low-barrier shelter beds will be in place during the cold weather months. Housing First programs will seek to rehouse 70 chronically homeless persons. A sweep of encampments where people are sleeping outside will be conducted by outreach teams. Public service announcements will advise Calgarians to contact 211 and 311 if they see people at risk of the elements.

Housing

During the second quarter, the CHF purchased one property in Thorncliffe. The property has 17 units, made up of 11 one-bedroom apartments and six two-bedroom apartments. Tenants will be individuals recovering from addictions, and will be referred and supported by Fresh Start Recovery. The total project cost (including renovations) was $2.63 million, with $1.84 million provided by the Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary.

At the end of the second quarter, the CHF had a housing portfolio consisting of 291 units. The CHF has provincial grant funding (HUA and Persons with Developmental Disabilities) for an additional 199 units for a total of 490 units.

CHF continued to work on property renovations and upgrades. Renovations and final audits were completed for the Longbow and Bankview properties.

As of November 1, 2011, effective vacancies at properties were 2.7%, as agencies move in tenants as units are ready for occupancy. Seven units undergoing renovations are ready for occupancy, with property managers and agencies moving in tenants.

Communications and Fund Development

The CHF thanks Canadian Oil Sands who donated $50,000, The Flanagan Foundation who donated $300,000 towards affordable housing in Cliff Bungalow, Cushman Wakefield for raising approximately $25,000 through their annual golf tournament, and the TELUS Calgary Community Board who contributed $20,000 towards the launch of the Youth Plan.

At the end of second quarter, the KAIROS Calgary fundraising campaign for Acadia Place, the CHF's affordable housing building for families, raised nearly $130,000.

Discussions between the CHF and two partners worked to build a framework for a Collaborative Capital Campaign in support of affordable housing.

Calgary's Community Action Committee (CAC) sponsored Mark Horvath, a U.S.-based social advocate, and invisiblepeople.tv on a 24-city, cross-Canada Road Trip to Fight Homelessness. The tour raised awareness through more than 100 media stories and dozens of interviews with homeless Canadians. Together with The Newfoundland and Labrador Housing and Homeless Commission, the CAC organized a tour wrap up at St. John's City Hall in which the mayors of Victoria, Calgary and St. John's pledged to end homelessness in their cities and challenged other mayors to join them in this pledge.

The tour helped lay the groundwork for a Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness intended to be an independent, nonpartisan, national movement to prevent and end homelessness in Canada by developing 10 Year Plans in communities across the country.

Homeless Awareness Calgary launched Community Voices, an innovative program funded by the CHF and CAC, whereby people experiencing homelessness can meaningfully participate in and direct the 10 Year Plan.

Governance

In September, the CHF announced that, as a planned succession, Steve Snyder would become the Chair of its Board of Directors (Board), replacing Tim Hearn, who served as Board Chair since April 2008. Both Mr. Snyder and Mr. Hearn served on the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness that developed the 10 Year Plan. Mr. Snyder will retire as President and CEO of TransAlta Corporation at the end of 2011, a position he has held since 1996. The CHF thanks Tim Hearn, who is also retiring from the CHF's Board of Directors (Board), for his five years of service. His business-like, results-oriented approach was instrumental to the progress made on the 10 Year Plan.

Financials

Quarter ended September 30 ($) 2011/12 2010/11
Revenues
Operating 3,384,265 2,343,582
Project 27,410,808 17,352,767
Total revenues 30,795,073 19,696,350
Expenses
Operating 1,313,283 1,090,165
Project 8,642,284 4,917,840
Total expenses 9,955,567 6,008,005
Excess (deficiency) of revenues over expenses 20,839,506 13,688,345

Cash increased by $18.59 million during the second quarter ending September 30, 2011, compared with an increase of $13.06 million in the same quarter ending September 30, 2010. This was due to receiving $24.4 million dollars in Service Delivery Plan program funding for fiscal 2011/12 and $2.76 million to support purchasing properties in Crescent Heights and Thorncliffe, compared with $19.1 million dollars in Service Delivery Plan program funding for fiscal 2010/11. Cash increased by $18.59 million during the second quarter ending September 30, 2011, compared with a decrease of $3.15 million in the prior quarter. The balance was lower in the first quarter due to use of cash on hand at March 31, 2011 to make payments for first quarter provincial project disbursement and operating expenses. Cash balances as of September 30, 2011 were $5.39 million higher compared with the same quarter in 2010 due to receiving $5.3 million dollars more in Service Delivery Plan funds in fiscal 2011/12 compared with fiscal 2010/11. Cash balances at September 30, 2011 were $18.59 million higher compared with the prior quarter due to receiving Service Delivery Plan funds in the second quarter.

Revenues generated during the second quarter ending September 30, 2011 increased $11.1 million compared with the same quarter ending September 30, 2010 due to higher Provincial Service Delivery Plan and capital acquisition funding received. Revenues generated during the second quarter ending September 30, 2011 increased by $26.6 million compared with the prior quarter because of Service Delivery Plan and capital funding. Due to higher staffing levels in the quarter ending September 30, 2011, expenses during this quarter were $3.95 million more than the same quarter ending September 30, 2010. Expenses during the second quarter ending September 30, 2011 increased compared with the prior quarter due to delivery of new federal HPS program funds in July 2011 and the addition of staff.

In the second quarter ending September 30, 2011, operating activities generated $19.78 million of cash due to the receipt of Service Delivery Plan and capital funding, offset by scheduled project payments and CHF operating expenses. In the same quarter, investing activities used $1.63 million to purchase the Crescent Heights property. Financing activities during the same period generated $435,000 due to the addition of a mortgage on the Crescent Heights property. This compares with the same quarter ending September 30, 2010, when operating activities generated $13.1 million due to receiving government funding, and financing activities used $23,000 to repay mortgage principle.

More Information

The CHF leads the implementation of Calgary's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. The CHF is moving forward on Calgary's 10 Year Plan in partnership with the many homeless serving agencies, the private sector, our government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in Calgary once and for all. Learn more at calgaryhomeless.com.