Murray’s House is now open!

From left to right: Leslie Bissett, David Bissett, Alan Norris, Stephanie Felesky, Ann McCaig, Diana Krecsy and Grit McCreath.

Three years ago local businessman and philanthropist David Bissett and his wife Leslie, gifted RESOLVE $5.1 million towards new housing for homeless and vulnerable Calgarians. The gift was inspired by “Million Dollar Murray”, the subject of a 2006 Malcolm Gladwell essay about a homeless man named Murray Barr that underscores the social and financial costs of managing homelessness versus ending it.

This past year, David and Leslie donated a further $3.8 million to bring their total contribution to $8.9 million, making them RESOLVE’s largest donor to date. This transformational gift is being used to construct two new properties for the Calgary Homeless Foundation, including a 23-unit apartment building with wrap-around support services — which the Bissetts named Murray’s House, after Murray Barr.

The grand opening for Murray’s House was held on Dec. 12 with move-ins scheduled for January. Support services will be provided by The SHARP Foundation.

“I’m hopeful that those who move into Murray’s House will have a better life,” says David. “I think it will demonstrate that this type of facility is an economically sound thing to do and hopefully it will encourage the city to look at more buildings like this for chronically homeless people.”