Calgary to participate in 2nd Federal Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness

Over 100 volunteers fan out across the city to count and connect with individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness

April 09, 2018

CALGARY, Alberta, April 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Calgary, as part of Alberta’s 7 cities on Housing and Homelessness, will be conducting its 3rd province-wide Point-in-Time Count (PiT Count) of Homelessness on Wednesday, April 11th. This Provincial Count is a part of Everyone Counts: The 2018 Point-in-Time Count, Canada’s second national Homeless Partnering Strategy (HPS) Coordinated Point-in-Time Count. This year’s count is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy program.

Over 100 volunteers will meet at City Hall Atrium at 8:00 p.m. for a brief program; teams will count out on the streets from 10:00 p.m. to midnight.

Volunteers will be placed in approximately 20 teams led by volunteers with experience in the homeless-serving sector including agencies such as CUPS, the DI, CJHS, The Alex, the Mustard Seed, Keys to Recovery and more. Many teams also include representatives from Calgary Police Service and Calgary Community Standards.

                         WHAT:                           3rd Province Wide Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness
Teams will survey the downtown core as well as various parks and green spaces with known or suspected encampments throughout the city. Data will also be collected from approximately 70 facilities providing housing for people experiencing homelessness, including emergency shelters and temporary accommodations, remand centres, hospitals, police processing units and campuses, parks and rail road tracks.
    
 WHO: Volunteers, elected officials, individuals who are formerly and currently homeless and representatives from Calgary Police Service, City of Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services, Calgary Parking Authority, Calgary Transit, non-profit agency outreach teams, Canadian Pacific Railway, Calgary Stampede, the University of Calgary, SAIT, Mount Royal University and Fish Creek Park
    
   Available for interviews prior to the Count at the City Hall Atrium:
  • Diana Krecsy, President & CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation 
  • Cst. Devon Ouellette, Vulnerable Persons Unit, Calgary Police Service
  • Adam Melnyk, Outreach & Housing Location Manager, Alpha House
  • Nigel Kirk, Client Action Committee, Calgary Homeless Foundation
    
 WHEN: Wednesday, April 11th, 2018
8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
*media are invited to attend the program from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at City Hall Atrium. Please note that media are asked not to participate in the actual count in order to respect the privacy of those being surveyed.
    
 WHERE: Atrium in City Hall


AGENDA
   
8:00 p.m.                  Media Interviews
8:30 Welcome, Co-host Nigel Kirk, Client Action Committee, and Co-host Michael Grant, Community Engagement Specialist, Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF)
8:35 Indigenous Blessing, Elder Jackie Bromley, Awo Taan Healing Lodge
8:45 Diana Krecsy, President & CEO, CHF
8:50 Engagement and Safety, Adam Melnyk, Outreach & Housing Manager, Alpha House
8:55 Logistics, Alicia Kalmanovitch, CHF
9:00 Dallas Arcand Jr. Hoop Dancing
9:10 Wrap Up, Nigel Kirk and Michael Grant, CHF
9:15  Start going to Zones. Count begins at 10:00pm                               
   

MEDIA PARTICIPATION AND DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION

Media are invited to meet along with volunteers for the program at the beginning of the evening at the muster point. This will be on April 11th, 2016 from 8:00 to 9:15 p.m. at the Atrium in City Hall.

CHF respectfully asks that the media please do not share the date of the count publicly prior to the evening of April 11th as advance notification of the count has proven to impact the quality of the data. Sometimes, if people are aware of the night on which the count is being undertaken, they may move shelter and/or be on the lookout to avoid the teams.

As well, the reasons for people not accessing emergency shelter are many and when conducting the count teams are, in effect, stepping into people’s personal space uninvited. To respect each individual’s right to privacy and to ensure the highest quality of data possible, we will not include media in the actual count.

You can stay in touch with the PiT Count throughout the evening by following #YYCPIT18 on Twitter. Preliminary results from the Point-in-Time Count will be released as soon as possible after the data has been compiled.

About The Government of Canada’s Homeless Partnering Strategy
The Government of Canada’s Homeless Partnering Strategy supported the first national homeless count coordinated among communities across Canada in 2016. A common Point-in-Time (PiT) Count approach was developed in consultation with communities that have experience using this method.  Everyone Counts: The 2018 Nationally Coordinated Point-in-Time Count is HPS’ second coordinated PiT Count and is being held in March and April 2018 to continue to help communities measure their progress in reducing homelessness. Over 60 communities will be participating.

About 7 Cities
Working together to end homelessness since 2001, Alberta's 7 Cities on Housing and Homelessness (7 Cities) is made up of the lead organizations responsible for the implementation of local Plans to End Homelessness. The 7 cities coordinate local plans at a systems level and align funding resources for greater impact and progress towards ending homelessness.

About Calgary Homeless Foundation
The Calgary Homeless Foundation is a catalyst and enabler for Systems and Service Agencies to optimize client success. CHF focuses on four strategic pillars of work; Advocacy, Research and Development, Systems Planning, and Funding (outcomes). In addition, CHF addresses gaps and identifies best practices to improve the system of care and enhance desired client outcomes. Through mobilization of collective impact, CHF is committed to moving forward in partnership with the many homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, government partners, local communities, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in Calgary. For more information, visit calgaryhomeless.com.

For more information, please contact:

Darcy Halber
Communications Specialist
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Email: darcyh@calgaryhomeless.com
Media Line: 403-615-7607