Innovative Program Opens Doors to Home for Families

Homeless Families Receive the Gift of Home From Caring Calgary Landlords

November 27, 2015

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 27, 2015) - Calgary families experiencing long term homelessness will be home for the festive season thanks to a unique collaboration between the Government of Alberta, Human Services, the Calgary Homeless Foundation, not for profit agencies working within the family sector, the Calgary Residential Rental Association (CRRA) and several Calgary landlords. Funded through Alberta Human Services and CHF, "Hope for the Holidays: Celebrate the season at home " will end the cycle of chronic homelessness for families for whom lack of access to affordable housing has had a lasting impact on their capacity to move beyond homelessness. Since the beginning of November eleven families identified as needing housing with supports have been housed and eighteen families have been connected with the appropriate agencies for housing and supports.

"Taking care of each other is the Albertan way of doing things," says Human Services, Minister Sabir. "That's why our government is pleased to support Hope for the Holidays. This new program has already housed several families and has an additional benefit of freeing up space in family shelters for other Calgary families who may need support. Collaboration at all levels is a key focus of our government's plan to end homelessness, and I'm encouraged to see how local agencies and landlords are working together and with the Calgary Homeless Foundation to support these families."

The Oxford Dictionary defines home as "the place where one lives permanently." But those who have experienced homelessness, define home very differently.

"Home provides kids with that sense of security, that sense of belonging," shares Dustin, a client recently housed through Calgary's Plan to End Homelessness with his two young children. "Now… we walk down the street and we come up to our building and we can actually say 'Oh, we're home.' The home is everything to a child, just like it's everything to you. Home is like, the foundation of your family."

Each family that will be housed through "Hope for the Holidays" has been relying on shelters for extended periods of time, struggling to find affordable housing. Children whose families are experiencing long term homelessness fail to meet developmental milestones essential to their success in adulthood. By moving these families out of shelters and into a home the risk of adult homelessness in these children can be greatly reduced. No one, least of all children, thrives well in homelessness.

"The Calgary Residential Rental Association and its members are proud to partner with the Calgary Homeless Foundation in the Hope for the Holidays Campaign," says Gerry Baxter, Executive Director of the CRRA. "This is a terrific opportunity to provide a helping hand up to so many families, especially at this time of year."

"Hope for the Holidays" is a collaborative campaign between the CRRA, CHF and agencies from the family sector including Aspen, Inn From the Cold, Children's Cottage Society, Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS), Distress Centre and Discovery House.

About CHF

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.

About CRRA

The Calgary Residential Rental Association (CRRA) is a non-profit organization formed in 1959 and registered under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta. Under the leadership of the Board of Directors, the CRRA provides a strong voice for the residential rental industry through appropriate representation and enhances the professionalism within the industry through education programs, resources and support services. Our members own or manage residential rental properties that range from one to several thousand units, and include apartments, houses, and secondary suites; and, our many service company members offer services or products that support the residential rental industry.