External News Archive

March 13, 2017

‘I am more than my criminal record’: New Calgary campaign looks beyond job seekers’ pasts

A new campaign aims to reduce stigma for Calgarians with criminal records who are looking for jobs. The Calgary John Howard Society launched a public education initiative called “I Am More Than My Criminal Record” earlier this month. “This campaign is about showcasing these individuals’ lives and who they think they are and giving voice to them,” said Cristina Amaro Benzaquen, employment partnership specialist at the society, to the Calgary Eyeopener. Complete story >

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December 4, 2016

Calgary Herald Christmas Fund 2016: Helping others to heal

The Calgary Alpha House Society, a recipient of the 2016 Calgary Herald Christmas Fund has been providing a safe and caring environment for men and women with alcohol and drug addictions for more than three decades. Kathy Christiansen, Executive Director of Calgary Alpha House Society believes in letting the client lead the way in their recovery process, she says “I thin it is all about human dignity and meeting people where they’re at.” Because half of their client base is of indigenous background, much of Christiansen’s focus has been on expanding her team’s offerings to incorporate such cultural traditions as sweat lodges, smudge ceremonies and sharing circles. “When people are connected to the sources helpful to them, they begin to make better decisions for themselves,” says Christiansen. “People are complex,” she says. “In order for them to even begin healing, we must first build trusting relationships,” a process, she adds, that takes time and requires assistance on everything from housing to getting to the heart of an individual’s addiction. Helping others to heal — whether from a traumatic life event, a mental illness or addiction — is a task not for the faint of heart. Complete story >

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December 2, 2016

Calgary Homeless Count (Interview with Diana Krecsy)

Calgary Homeless Count – Where Calgary’s homeless numbers are at and what needs to happen to get them to stay low. On-air interview with Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. Complete story >

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December 2, 2016

RESOLVE, StreetSide bring new beginnings with first fully accessible building

On Nov. 24, the RESOLVE Campaign, Calgary Homeless Foundation, StreetSide Developments: A Qualico Company, and Calgary Alpha House Society unveiled Aurora on the Park in the city’s northwest, providing fully accessible, permanent rental housing with supports for 25 formerly homeless and vulnerable Calgarians. “People who have lived in homelessness for a long time, many have disabilities,” says Diana Krecsy, president and CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation. “This type of unity, where we’re getting people out of homelessness into age appropriate, mobility appropriate supports…it’s a new beginning,” Krecsy continued. Complete story >

More on this story:

Calgary Herald
Metro News
CTV News
Calgary Sun
StreetSide Developments: A Qualico Company (blog)

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November 30, 2016

Calgary’s Mustard Seed says it is in critical need of donations

The Mustard Seed has put out a plea for donations, as they said they cannot keep up with the growing needs of homeless men and women in Calgary. They explained that the organization usually receives a majority of their donations over the holidays, but with the current economic conditions in our city, donations were down last year. That, combined with the increasing need in their emergency shelters, has compounded the problem. On The Mustard Seed’s wishlist of most needed items is: socks, underwear, toothbrushes and toothpaste. All donations can be made at all Calgary London Drugs locations until Dec. 24thComplete story >

More on this story:

Breakfast Television
Red 106.7 FM

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November 29, 2016

Calgary Homeless count results show numbers continue to decline

The 3,222 people on Calgary’s streets reflects an 11 per cent decline since 2008. On a per capita basis, that’s actually a decline of 26 per cent since 2008. The count was conducted as part of a province-wide count in Alberta’s seven largest cities. The province-wide numbers show that Calgary is becoming a hub for the homeless, despite the decrease. While the 2014 count showed Calgary had 54 per cent of the total provincial homeless population on that night, this year’s count shows Calgary represents 60 per cent of the total provincial count of 5,373. The Calgary Homeless Foundation will release a detailed report on the count early in the New Year. Complete story >

More on this story:

Yahoo Finance

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November 25, 2016

Here are the agencies you will help by donating to the 2016 Christmas Fund

The recipients of the 2016 Christmas Fund includes Calgary Alpha House Society and Silvera for Seniors. For Alpha House, this year’s donations from the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund will go toward programs that engage clients in addiction recovery through cultural reconnection with Aboriginal ceremony, sweat lodge, drumming, sharing circles and working with plant-based medicines and traditional ways. For Silvera for Seniors, the donations will go towards its services that directly impact the quality of live among seniors addressing critical social issues in Calgary, such as homelessness, isolation, depression and malnutrition. Complete story >

More on this story:

Ottawa Citizen

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October 27, 2016

Shane Homes founder inducted into Calgary Business Hall of Fame

Cal Wenzel, a 37-year Calgary homebuilder, who founded Shane homes in 1979 is known for his tireless work ethic and commitment to giving back, has been honoured for his achievements in business, and is now a member of the Calgary Business Hall of Fame. He and fellow inductees, RGO Office Products president Ross Glen, ATCO founder Ron Southern, and ARC Financial founder Mac Van Wielingen were celebrated during a gala event at the Hyatt Regency earlier this month. Shane Homes has made contributions to causes including Kinsmen Children’s Hospital Home Lotto, the RESOLVE Campaign, Calgary Stampede, SAIT Polytechnic’s Trade and Technology Complex, Calgary Minor Soccer Association, various community centres and the Peanut Butter Classic. Complete story >

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October 25, 2016

Focus on Leadership – RGO products believes in community support 

If a company can reap what it sows, then the continued success of RGO Products Ltd. is a well-earned reward for decades of dedication to community. RGO has contributed to man local charities and non-profit organizations over the past five decades. Beneficiaries have included Calgary performing arts, the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, SAIT, Bow Valley College, Calgary Junior Achievement, the Calgary Zoo, the City of Calgary, Heritage Park, Calgary Humane Society and the RESOLVE Campaign. Complete story >

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October 25, 2016

Focus on Leadership – Trico embraces accessible housing

The leadership at Trico Homes believes everyone deserves a safe, healthy and affordable place to live. That’s why the Trico team set its collective sights on becoming part of the solution for those who do not have access to such a home in Calgary. Construction will soon begin on the Delaney, a 44-unit residential building in Mount Pleasant. The Delaney will be a rental building that addresses the need for affordable and accessible housing in Calgary. “In addition, the Delaney has over 3,000 square feet of commercial space that will be leased a ta below-market rate to Accessible Housing.” Trico was provided with a $2.5 million Housing Capital Initiatives grant from the Alberta Government to help fund the project. The grant allows Trico to include 12 below-market-rate rental apartments in the building, with 10 of them also being barrier-free and designated for Accessible Housing. Complete story >

More on this story:

Trico Homes Blog

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October 21, 2016

Homeless numbers falling in Alberta

Advocacy groups hope that Alberta can prove to be a model for the rest of Canada after recent data showed that homelessness in the province has gone down, even while the national average has trended upwards. According to data from 2014’s homeless count, there are over 6,000 people sleeping on the streets in the province, a figure that’s been dropping for a while. Even with Alberta’s depressed economy, officials know that the number of homeless in Alberta is dropping. Numbers aren’t in for this year yet, but Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation says we are down over 17 per cent. “It really helps us a  lot, plan for the future and invest in the right things, so we are actually helping people get out of homelessness,” she said. Complete story >

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October 21, 2016

Volunteers conduct Calgary homeless count

Over one hundred volunteers met at City Hall to conduct a Point-in-Time homeless count. The count gives agencies a snapshot of the current homeless situation. President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, Diana Krecsy thinks we will see a drop in numbers this year. “We’re going to see a slight reduction in the homeless count because of the economic downturn. The people who were the working poor don’t have those jobs now so they’ve moved to those cities where they can get jobs, but hey move into shelters in those provinces.” Complete story >

More on this story:

Metro News Calgary
iNews 880 AM

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October 11, 2016

Horizon Housing CFEP Grant

Greg Clark, MLA Calgary Elbow said it’s great to present Horizon Housing Society with a Community Facility Enhancement Program cheque to support a new elevator at the Bob Ward Residence. Complete story >

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October 7, 2016

RESOLVE Campaign delivers Providence House to provide shelter

Morrison Homes has finished construction on a building that will help 24 homeless and vulnerable women in Calgary. Providence House in Crescent Heights is the second new construction project to open through the RESOLVE Campaign. The building is owned by the Calgary Homeless Foundation, and 24 hour on-site tenant support will be provided the the YWCA of Calgary. Complete story >

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October 1, 2016

Sculpture by Jane Seymour unveiled at event in support of Calgary charities

Residents in the community Legacy have a new public art piece thanks to artist and actress Jane Seymour. The unveiling included a $25,000 donation from WestCreek Developments to the RESOLVE Campaign. The sculpture, titled “Open Hearts Icon,” is an original piece by Seymour. Kim O’Brien with Horizon Housing Society – one of the nine Partners in the RESOLVE Campaign – said the donation will go towards the development of 160 units of affordable housing in Calgary. “Especially now in these times, so many of us can appreciate the simply security of knowing we have a home,” O’Brien said. “And the support of Calgarians has been so uplifting.” Complete story >

More on this story:

Calgary Herald 
Metro News

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September 29, 2016

New affordable housing complex opens for vulnerable and homeless women

On Sept. 29th, representatives from Morrison Homes, the YWCA of Calgary, the RESOLVE Campaign, the Calgary Homeless Foundation and guests gathered to celebrate the opening of Providence House. The newly constructed building will offer affordable and supported rental housing to 24 homeless and vulnerable women in Calgary. By offering integrated, on-site access to social support services on a 24-7 basis, residents are given the foundation needed to restart and rebuild their lives. Complete story >

More on this story:
CTV News
Calgary Sun
Morrison Homes (Blog)

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September 16, 2016

Alberta government funding transition housing for former inmates

The NDP government is putting $3 million towards a new housing project to help former federal inmates to transition back to society. The funding, announced by Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir, will go to a new permanent home for the John Howard Society’s Bedford House, which houses men over the age of 18 who have been referred by the Correctional Services of Canada. The provincial dollars come on top of funding raised by the philanthropic organization RESOLVE. The new location for the home is in the Manchester industrial area, replacing a facility near Stampede Park. Once completed, it will have 32 beds and on-site supports. The project is supported by the Calgary Police Service, with deputy chief Trevor Daroux saying Bedford House helps reduce recidivism rates, crime, social disorder and victimization. Complete story >

More on this story:
CBC News Calgary

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September 12, 2016

Foundation gives $1 million to support Calgary affordable housing initiative

The Z Zurich Foundation, the charity arm of the Zurich insurance company, has gifted a $1 million donation to the RESOLVE Campaign. The $1 million contribution will be given over three years and will be designated to The Mustard Seed’s 1010 Centre to help retire its mortgage. “A gift of this magnitude will not only benefit hundreds of men and women by providing them with homes of their own, it will also strengthen the community and move us that much closer to ending homelessness,” said Stephen Wile, CEO of The Mustard Seed. In addition to providing the donation, Zurich Canada said its employees will stay connected to the Campaign by volunteering their expertise in HR, IT, project management and communications. Complete story >

More on this story:
660 News
Insurance Business Canada
Zurich Insurance Canada

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September 8, 2016

Affordable, barrier-free housing project breaks ground in northwest Calgary – 45-bed facility in Capital Hill made possible by $5.6M donation

Construction of a new accessible housing facility in northwest Calgary got underway with a groundbreaking ceremony. The building will provide affordable housing for 45 people with limited mobility. A $5.6-million donation from Bill Kujat of Safeway Holdings, Bob Harris of Centron Group of Companies, Charlie Guille of Cougar Contractors Ltd. and Ross Glen of RGO Office Products and their families helped make the project possible. Charlie Guille donated an additional $1 million before he passed away this spring, bringing the combined total to $6.6 million. Funding also came from the Alberta government, BMO Financial Group, Trico Homes and other donors. Construction is expected to be finished by late 2017, or early 2018. Complete story >

More on this story:
Calgary Metro

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July 22, 2016

Fentanyl remains significant concern for Alberta Health Services as number of deaths shows little change

This year is looking to be as costly as the last in terms of fentanyl-related deaths in Alberta, officials say the street-level drug scourge remains a significant concern. Kathy Christiansen, Executive Director of the Calgary Alpha House Society said approximately four per cent of their clients use the street drug. The Alpha House team has been trained to use naloxone kits, an opioid overdose antidote and the organization has the kits available in their shelter and in their vans. Naloxone has been seeing more use and has been saving more lives since it was made readily available in Alberta. Complete story >

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July 16, 2016

Braul: We can do a better job of caring for our seniors

Many senior with complex care needs are being housed in hospitals because we cannot provide proper supportive accommodations in the community. Changes to long-term care regulations would help to ease the problem of so-called bed blockers and result in more varied residential options that better meet the care needs of the individual. With 400 to 600 bed blockers at any given time, the cost to Albertans is approximately $175 million per year. The government’s response has been to build costly large public long-term care facilities, instead of relaxing the institutional standards for construction so that it would be reasonable and attainable for non-profit housing organizations like Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta (TPFA) to construct buildings to the B3 building codes that adhere to all of the fire and safety systems, but would reduce the construction costs by 20- 25 per cent. Complete story >

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July 16, 2016

Stepping Stone Manor set to open for city’s homeless

The first project completed for the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF), through the RESOLVE Campaign is ready to open its doors. Stepping Stone Manor, a 30-unit assisted-living apartment building has on-site supports provided by the Calgary John Howard Society (CJHS) and is funded by donors, grants committed by the provincial government, and built by Cedarglen Living Inc. as part of a “Visionary” level gift to the RESOLVE Campaign will be the future home to Calgarians experiencing or vulnerable to homelessness. Complete story >

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July 15, 2016

New program assists low-income Albertans

Sponsor Energy has launched a new initiative to help people dealing with energy poverty. The initiative, H.E.L.P., stands for ‘Home Energy Low-Income Program’ has a direct partnership with “the YWCA an all of their low-income housing, Calgary Homeless Foundation, Airdrie Food Bank, Children’s Link, Hull Services, The Alex. So we can work with groups, to work with their clients, who may be struggling and in need of such a program,” said their CEO Carolyn Martin. Complete story >

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July 12, 2016

Fundraiser reduced to one day due to money troubles

The Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Stampede Party with a Purpose was once a three day country music event featuring five country music artists was reduced to just one day because of the economy. Sharon deBoer Fyie with the Calgary Homeless Foundation says it’s a challenging time in the city right now, but the party, featuring George Canyon, Jordan McIntosh, Dan Davidson, Matt Blais and Aaron Pollock is an example of artists and organizations working together for the greater good. Complete story >

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July 12, 2016

Housing agency brings Stampede spirit to fixed-income Calgarians

Spending a day at the Calgary Stampede can be a pricey proposition for a lot of people. Horizon Housing Society celebrated their annual Stampede barbecue with more than 300 of their fixed-income tenants who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to participate in Stampede celebrations. Complete story >

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June 28, 2016

A new project creates more affordable housing in Calgary

Stepping Stone Manor is now ready to open its doors. The apartment will provide permanent rental housing with supports for 30 homeless and vulnerable Calgarians. RESOLVE Campaign Chair, and President and CEO of Brookfield Residential Properties, Alan Norris, outlined the homebuilders’ commitment to build a series of purpose-built apartments as one step toward ending homelessness in Calgary. “No one gets up in the morning and says I want to be homeless and we wanted to help,” said Scott Haggins, CEO of Cedarglen Living Inc., the builder who developed Stepping Stone Manor. Complete story >

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June 28, 2016

Economic slowdown not impacting efforts to end homelessness

The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) says the economic downturn has not derailed the effort to end homelessness in Calgary. At CHF’s AGM, CEO Diana Krecsy says almost 1,000 people were transitioned from the streets and into homes last year. “In one year, just under a thousand people that were homeless that now have a home with the supports necessary to maintain it. Our challenges now are getting enough housing stock, getting rental support and getting it affordable so that we can move people into housing and have the coordinated supports.” Complete story >

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June 27, 2016

New independent not-for-profit will manage housing portfolio

The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) announced the Calgary Community Land Trust Society (CCLT) will become self-governed and independent from CHF starting this fall. The CCLT will take over CHF’s $50 million housing portfolio and will manage those properties, which are for vulnerable populations. The CCLT will have a mandate to accelerate the build-out of specialized, integrated housing to serve the homeless and will work with other not-for-profits and housing groups to keep housing for the homeless moving forward. Complete story >

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June 24, 2016

Over-Under. Housing officials cite increasing rates of overcrowding in Calgary’s housing market

Housing experts say a soft labour pool brought upon by weak economic conditions is partly to blame for increasing rates of overcrowding, or “underhousing” in Calgary homes. With the economic downturn, “we know fundamentally that number is up. It’s hard to get a handle; people are one paycheque away (from homelessness” or aren’t in appropriate housing. And the current economic climate (as well as) social issues are impacting the need. But the need has always been urgent,” said Sheryl Barlage, Executive Director of the RESOLVE Campaign. The $120-million RESOLVE Campaign has seen a building for the Calgary Homeless Foundation completed, while others are in the position of seeing shovels going into the ground.  Complete story >

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June 22, 2016

Former addict conducts sweat ceremonies to help others recover

Brad Fisher was named the inspiring Albertan this week. Fisher works outreach at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary, an organization that partners with Alpha House to help those whose lives are affected by alcohol and drug dependencies. Fisher uses traditional Aboriginal ceremonies. Kathy Christiansen, Executive Director of Alpha House said Fisher is able to connect with clients and inspire them, because he has been where they are. Complete story >

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June 16, 2016

Province kicks in $4M for affordable, accessible housing in Calgary – Money is part of $13-million fund announced in the budget to help ease shortage

The Government of Alberta is contributing $4 million toward the building of Accessible Housing’s new 45-unit affordable housing complex for people with mobility issues in northwest Calgary. “It’s a huge investment by the government of Alberta to basically say that everyone ought to belong,” said Jeff Dyer, Executive Director of Accessible Housing. Complete story >

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June 6, 2016

Mustard Seed asks for bottled water donations to help homeless Calgarians beat the heat – ‘People experiencing poverty and homelessness are very much at risk because of the heat’

The Mustard Seed is asking Calgarians to donate bottled water to help the city’s less fortunate. The rising temperatures means men and women on the streets are in danger of dehydration, exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses.  Complete story >

More on this story:

Global News
CBC News
Calgary Herald

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June 3, 2016

Gilchrist Manor independent living facility for low-income seniors opens in Calgary – Advocates say the new building fills a growing and vital need

Silvera for Seniors cut the ribbon on Gilchrist Manor,  a new 61-unit independent living facility for low-income seniors in the community of Pineridge in northeast Calgary. Advocates are calling affordable seniors’ housing an urgent issue, as there are 515,000 seniors in Alberta and that number is expected to reach well over one million by 2030.  Complete story >

More on this story:

iNews 880 AM

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May 27, 2016

Shane Homes’ ground-breaking to add 23 units to project to house homeless

The 37-year veteran, Shane Homes, started construction on Prelude in Radisson Heights, which is the fourth building to break ground through the RESOLVE Campaign. Complete story >

More on this story:

Calgary Sun

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May 21, 2016

Donors RESOLVE to pay off affordable housing mortgages

The Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Acadia Place and The Mustard Seed’s Beltline Apartment are now mortgage free, thanks to generous donors to the RESOLVE campaign. Complete story >

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May 2, 2016

Conference Leads the Way to Transformative Action in Ending Homelessness

The Alberta Way Home: Transformative Action in Ending Homelessness, sponsored by the 7 cities on Housing and Homelessness and hosted by the Calgary Homeless Foundation will feature leaders, researchers, front-line staff, individuals with lived experience and government representatives, gathering to share best practices, new approaches and innovative successes on ending homelessness.  Complete story >

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April 26, 2016
Program that helped Calgary homeless with medical issues terminated

The ARCH program officially ended March 31. It was funded mainly by the Calgary Homeless Foundation and administered through The Mustard Seed. ARCH provided housing assistance and other support to single adult men and women with mental health and addictions issues, with special focus on medical needs.  Complete story >

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April 23, 2016
Homeless veterans: helping those who have fallen behind

Veterans Affairs has confirmed an Emergency Trust Fund specifically for Canadian veterans in crisis has been depleted. This interruption could affect the help some homeless veterans will receive, putting more pressure on shelters and other emergency services. While Veterans Affairs do offer some benefits, charities and non-profits have stepped in to fill the gaps. The Madison,operated by Alpha House, in large part with provincial funding has shown to save the system money. It costs almost $2,000 to operate a shelter bed each month. Veterans cost the system over $88,000 in costs associated with accessing shelters and over $500,000 can be saved by intervening in homelessness. Complete story >

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April 20, 2016
Federal government pouring billions into social housing

The social housing advocates are applauding the 2016 federal budget because it pours billions of dollars into providing new construction and upgrading facilities for a wide range of homeless individuals and also offers up new loan incentives to private developers and municipalities. “This federal government expenditure recognizes that affordable housing is a core infrastructure for Canadians,” said Diana Krecsy, president and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. Complete story >

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April 19, 2016
Budget 2016: Support for vulnerable Albertans

The Alberta Government’s Budget 2016: Alberta Jobs Plan represents a significant step forward in combating Alberta’s affordable housing shortages. With $892 million allocated to build more affordable housing and renew existing housing in Alberta and $148 million over five years earmarked for Calgary, we will continue to move forward in reaching the goals of Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness: People First in Housing First. Since 2008, CHF has built a portfolio of 360 housing units with an additional 125 units coming on stream this year. Funding is also in place for approximately 115 additional units by 2018 through the RESOLVE Campaign–a multi-agency, first of its kind in Canada, capital campaign to raise funds for affordable housing. Complete story >

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April 19, 2016
Shane and Cal Wenzel and the management team share what’s new at Shane Homes – Part 1

Shane Homes is one of the growing list of Calgary homebuilders that has pledged a Visionary gift to the RESOLVE Campaign. The homebuilder’s donation, together with Provincial funding will build eight apartment buildings of similar design in different locations around Calgary, as well as additional projects for homeless families and singles. Shane Homes will tentatively be starting construction on the “Prelude in Radisson Heights” building in May 2016. Complete story >

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April 15, 2016
New Habitat duplexes built barrier-free on main level

Families with children in wheelchairs were top of mind in the design of a duplex by Habitat for Humanity in northeast Calgary. Habitat for Humanity partnered with Accessible Housing to incorporate floor plan features that cater to a barrier-free home. Complete story >

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April 14, 2016

Alberta budget bets $8.5B in infrastructure spending will spur economy

Affordable housing construction and refurbishment received a significant injection, with the government now planning to spend $892 million over five years — a $500-million increase over last fall’s budget. Nearly one-quarter of that money, $233 million, is allocated in the 2016-17 plan. Diana Krescy, CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, noted about two-thirds, or $582 million, of the funding would be spend on maintaining and fixing Alberta’s aging stock of affordable housing units. “That exemplifies how, over time, how eroded the affordable and social housing has become,” Krescy said. Complete story >

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April 6, 2016
Stampede Party with a Purpose planned to help Calgary charities

Stampede Party with a Purpose is a three day event hosted by Civic on Third and features seven recording artists including; George Canyon, Alee, Jordan McIntosh, Matt Blais, Dan Davidson, Matt Masters and Aaron Pollock. One-hundred per cent of the proceeds from the initiative will help three Calgary charities: the Calgary Homeless Foundation, Keys to Recovery and Dil Walk Foundation. Complete story >

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March 30, 2016
Real impact of recession still to come: Calgary Homeless Foundation

As the prime minister promises EI benefits will go to those who need it most, the Calgary Homeless Foundation is warning the city isn’t yet seeing the full impact of the economic downturn. While shelter numbers were down this past winter, those figures are deceiving. Complete story >

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March 27, 2016
Genesis donates $100K to schools and charities

Genesis Builders Group has donated more than $100,000 to schools and charities in the Calgary area, including a $5,000 gift to the Calgary Homeless Foundation. “The support that we have received from companies like Genesis Builders has been essential in our work to end homelessness and in helping vulnerable Calgarians achieve a better quality of life,” said Diana Krecsy, President & CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation. Complete story >

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March 24, 2016
Federal budget commits to creating a Canadians with Disabilities Act

The federal budget unveiled this week includes a promise to eliminate barriers for Canadians living with disabilities by introducing a national disabilities act — a document advocates have long said is needed. “It remains to be seen right now what (the act) will look like, but if it mirrors something along the lines of what we see in the U.S. or Ontario, there’s great hope it will have a levelling effect for people with disabilities,” said Jeff Dyer, executive director at Accessible Housing Calgary. Complete story >

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March 23, 2016
Calgary Homeless Foundation applauds federal funding for affordable housing – Federal government announces nationwide $2.3B investment over two years

The federal government announced it will invest $2.3B over two years for affordable housing initiatives across the country. Diana Krecsy, president and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation said, “As a nation, we need to start treating affordable housing and housing for those in need as core infrastructure.” Krecsy continued, “So now I want to see how much [is coming] to Alberta, how quickly is it going to flow, and that we have systems in place so that it’s getting to those organizations that are delivering affordable housing that is meeting the needs of our most vulnerable.” Complete story >

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March 18, 2016
Share your thoughts: Making Calgary better for children with special needs

The Calgary Herald asked parents, politicians, academics, and a range of community members: How can we make a better Calgary for children with special needs. Jeff Dyer, executive director at Accessible Housing answered by saying “Homes are foundational. They are a base where kids grow, rest and dream. Calgary must create homes that are adaptable, safe and appropriate for growing children and their families to help empower and enable them instead of confining and isolating them. Let’s not build another accessible playground until every child has an appropriate home where they can thrive.” Complete story >

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March 16, 2016
CHF welcomes new board member, Dr. David Ross

Dr. David Ross came to the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) Board of Director’s with a deep understanding and appreciation of our collective responsibility to take care of one another, especially people living on the margins. Complete story >

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March 12, 2016
Stepping Stone Manor marks the first RESOLVE Campaign building completed

Construction is complete at Stepping Stone Manor by Cedarglen Living, which is the first building through the RESOLVE Campaign. RESOLVE is a program that has set out to raise $120 million to create affordable housing for 3,000 homeless and vulnerable Calgarians. It involves nine social agencies and has received funding through government, the business community and individual donors. Complete story >

More on this story:

Calgary Metro
CREBNow
Gateway Gazette

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March 8, 2016
Yedlin: Kolias exemplifies business, community leadership

The U of C’s Haskayne School of Business has named Sam Kolias as the recipient of its Distinguished Business Leader Award. Kolias’ philanthropy is focused on finding a place for those in need, including his support for the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the RESOLVE Campaign. Complete story >

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March 3, 2016

CJSW Salutes The Alpha House

Matt Knapik of the Charmers’ Almanac speaks to Kathy Christiansen and Adam Melnyk from the Calgary Alpha House Society discuss how they aim to help the marginalized populations of Calgary who live in the streets and experience addictions and their RESOLVE Campaign project. Complete story >

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February 24, 2016

‘Blindsided’ volunteers worry after charity ends homeless shelter program in churches

Inn From the Cold offered homeless Calgarians a temporary shelter at participating churches and community halls for 19 years, has now stopped the community inn program. They believe the guests, who often require addictions and mental illness support, are better served at other shelters, such as the Calgary Drop-In Centre and The Mustard Seed. Complete story >

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February 22, 2016
CHF is pleased to welcome Dr. David Ross, Jeff Boyd and Brian Pincott to its Board of Directors

The Calgary Homeless Foundation is pleased to welcome Dr. David Ross, Jeff Boyd and Brian Pincott to its Board of Directors. These individuals bring extensive experience and understanding for not-for-profit governance, the value of public/private partnerships and a keen desire to give back to their community. Complete story >

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February 19, 2016
Calgary walk for homeless aims for $125K – Challenge this year to come from precipitation forecast, not cold

The annual Coldest Night of the Year walk gives people a taste of life on the streets during winter, while raising money for communities accross Canada. The Mustard Seed and Calgary Homeless Foundation are two of several organizations that benefit from the money the walk raises. Complete story >

More on this story:

Calgary Metro
Canadian Tribune
CTV News
CBC News
Calgary Herald 
Calgary Sun

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February 16, 2016
Plunging rental rates in Calgary open up new opportunities for working poor

Kevin McNichol, vice-president strategy for the Calgary Homeless Foundation, said the easier access to rental markets does help a certain segment of the homeless and working poor population.“But there is still a very large group where things still don’t change. Those on fixed incomes, facing mental health issues, addictions. Those still functioning outside of economic and social norms.” Complete story >

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February 11, 2016
How the Calgary Motor Dealers Association (CMDA) gives back to community 

The Calgary Motor Dealers Association (CMDA) is a non-profit organization representing 78 franchised dealers in Calgary, and while they are in business to sell vehicles, they also believe in giving back to the community. Local charities and programs benefiting from CMDA support includes the Calgary Homeless Foundation, The Mustard Seed and more.  Complete story >

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February 10, 2016
John Howard Society halfway house moving to Forest Lawn to make way for Stampede Expansion 

The Calgary John Howard Society has secured a new site in the southeast community of Manchester. However, it’s still raising money for the new facility, which will help former offenders re-integrate into society. Complete story >

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February 6, 2016
Advocates laud creation of new housing ministry

Housing affordability across all income levels was discussed at a symposium, called Affordability Matters, on Jan. 28, hosted by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Alberta (CHBA-AB). Karin Finley discussed the progress the RESOLVE Campaign has made. Complete story >

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January 30, 2016
Farmers help to fill freezers of Calgary homeless shelter

On any given night The Mustard Seed serves dinner for 37 to 400 of Calgary’s homeless. Quite often the guests dine on locally-raised beef and chicken, donated by generous local farmers, including Country Lane Farms. Complete story >

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January 29, 2016
Shared-equity housing and other programs are creating solutions to the city’s affordable housing crisis

In addition to Calgary Housing Corp., several organizations in the city cater to Calgarians who need access to affordable housing, including INHOUSE Attainable Housing Society, RESOLVE Campaign and Attainable Homes Calgary Corp. Complete story >

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January 29, 2016
10  year plan to end homelessness in Calgary

The Calgary Homeless Foundation is 8 years into Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness. Kevin McNichol, the VP of strategy at CHF discusses the progress being made on the plan. Complete story >

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January 23, 2016
Calgary non-profits start to feel pinch of rising food costs

The falling loonie is driving food costs up. The Mustard Seed has noticed the rising cost of food and will require an extra thousand dollars per month when budgeting for food expenditures. Complete story >

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January 11, 2016
Alberta’s former PC government rejected $1.4M in drug treatment funding – NDP government says it’s disappointing money to help addicts was ‘left on the table’

Alberta has the highest rate of fentanyl deaths in the country, according the Calgary John Howard Society, which helps people steer clear of a life of crime. Calgary John Howard Society’s assistant executive director Leslie McMechan was disappointed to hear the previous government declined a $1.4 million grant from the federal government that would have helped fund drug treatment programs. Complete story >

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January 11, 2016
Relief comes to young indigenous family losing hope in homeless shelter

Elijah moved off of a southern Alberta reserve for the first time nearly three weeks ago with his wife and three children because they couldn’t find work or housing. The family remain in a homeless shelter, after viewing seven apartments and being shut down each time. Complete story >

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January 7, 2016
Calgary Homeless Foundation raises concerns over feds counting plan

The head of the Calgary Homeless Foundation said while she’s supportive of the federal government’s plan for a national count of homeless people, there are several problems with the Liberal plan that could lead to inaccurate results. Complete story >

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January 6, 2016
Calgary not taking part in federal homeless census

The federal government will follow Alberta’s lead as it prepares to count the homeless across 30 Canadian cities between now and April. Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation explained that Calgary will not participate in the 2016 federal count for several reasons, including the time of year. Calgary will continue with regular fall counts. Complete story >

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January 6, 2016
Temporary overflow shelter for homeless families will remain open until April

A temporary emergency shelter for homeless parents and children opened downtown last January as a year-long solution. A partnership between Inn From the Cold and the Calgary Homeless Foundation made the shelter a reality in order to address the family homelessness. Complete story >

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January 4, 2016
Rising number of homeless families spurs plans for new projects

The Mustard Seed is in talks about constructing a building that would provide affordable homes for families, one of the fastest-growing demographics in need. Complete story >

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January 1, 2016
Parker: Calgary business leaders again stepped up to support charitable causes

Many Calgarians, including the RESOLVE Campaign’s home builders have stepped up to support charitable causes and solve the issues our city faces. Complete story >

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December 26, 2015
TINEPUBLIC raises money for RESOLVE Campaign

The 6th Annual TINEPUBLIC Christmas party drew hundreds of guests to celebrate the company’s continued success and raise money for the RESOLVE Campaign. Complete story >

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December 25, 2015
Non-profits excited for details on cash from mayor’s resiliency fund

Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s Community Resiliency Fund is to go towards struggling charities. Non-profits, including The Mustard Seed who would use the money for housing and employment programs, are eager to hear more details about the plan. Complete story >

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December 23, 2015
Santa inspires residents at Calgary senior’s centre

Loneliness and isolation is common for many seniors during the holidays.  Allen and Harlene Braden, tenants of Silvera for Seniors dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Clause each year to bring cheer to others. Allen was awarded the Inspiring Albertan of the week for the week. Complete story >

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December 15, 2015
Committee members lament ‘nothing new’ in housing affordability collective report

The report calls on homeless and housing organizations, the development industry and government to work together on “Calgary-based solutions with blueprints for action” and provide necessary support. Kim O’Brien, executive director for the Horizon Housing Society, said the collective identified considerable gaps in data and identified the need for various organizations to collaborate to build more affordable housing units Complete story >

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December 13, 2015
Calgary homeless shelter numbers projected to decrease

The economic downturn has helped the Calgary Homeless Foundation to secure hard to find affordable accommodation for families. Complete story >

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December 9, 2015
How data is helping in the fight against homelessness in Calgary

Ronalda Two Young Men and her two grandchildren fell on hard times, and wound up in an emergency homeless shelter. While grateful to avoid the street, they were scared. A shelter is no place to raise kids. But days passed, and Two Young Men couldn’t seem to gather enough money to move out. Days turned to weeks. Complete story >

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December 5, 2015
Homeless shelters see increase in patrons with economic downturn

Calgary homeless shelters are looking for more donations as the holidays approach, and as economic woes continue across the province. The Mustard Seed is looking for donations so it can feed its patrons. Complete story >

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December 3, 2015
30 Days of Giving Hope Campaign

Mita Adesanya with the Mustard Seed joins Global Calgary with details on their 30 Days of Giving Hope Campaign urging Calgarians to do one thing to help the homeless this Christmas. Complete story >

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December 3, 2015
City tests accessibility & releases preparedness guide

The ‘Persons with Disabilities Guide’ was launched as part of The City’s recognition for International Day of Persons with Disabilities. As part of the initiative, Coun. Druh Farrell and other city managers joined Accessible Housing staff to spend time in a wheelchair and take on a disability for the day to try and understand what it is like to get around the city with a disability. Complete story >

More on this story
Calgary Herald 
Global News
Metro 

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November 30, 2015
Enjoy innovative programs at Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta

There are several success stories since Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta started their new Independent Living Skills (ISL) program, designed to provide short-term support to seniors to maintain their ability to live independently. TPFA is much more than a property management company. It is committed to providing housing, a variety of supports and community partnerships to help seniors maintain independence and their quality of life. Complete story >

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November 29, 2015
Five things about affordable housing

Several recent events have highlighted the need for increased awareness for affordable housing in Canada. Along with National Housing Strategy Day, which took place on Nov. 22, 11 local homebuilders and developers were recently recognized for their contributions to the RESOLVE Campaign. Complete story >

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November 28, 2015
Philanthropy Flourishes in Calgary

Scores of Calgarians concur with this statement as our beloved city is, on a per-capita basis, one of the most philanthropic cities in North America. And celebrating those who give so much of their time-and treasure- is what Philanthropy Awareness Week 2015, National Philanthropy Day and the Generosity of Spirit Reception were all about. Congratulations to all those who were honoured for their generosity, including RESOLVE’s Visionary Homebuilders on being presented the Outstanding Philanthropic Group Award. Complete story >

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November 27, 2015
Calgarians buying into Black Friday

Goldgrass Home in Inglewood put a twist on Black Friday as they featured Plinko in their store for customer discounts and to raise money for the RESOLVE Campaign. Complete story >

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November 27, 2015
Focus on homes, rather than shelters, means happier holidays for 29 homeless families

The Hope for the Holidays Campaign, is a collaboration of  agencies, the provincial government and a residential rental group, spearheaded by the Calgary Homeless Foundation, identified 29 families that have been chronic users of homeless resources in recent years. Rather than use funding to add shelter beds for the winter, the money went toward finding permanent housing for those families, and helping them keep it. Complete story >

More on this story
Calgary Sun

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November 27, 2015
Generosity of RESOLVE Campaign celebrated with award

Eleven RESOLVE home builders were recognized at the 2015 Generosity of Spirit Awards, winning the Philanthropic Group Award. The builders include Albi Homes, Brookfield Residential, Calbridge Homes, Cardel Lifestyles, Cedarglen Living, Homes by Avi, Hopewell Residential, Jayman Built Group of Companies, Morrison Homes, StreetSide Developments: A Qualico Company, and Shane Homes. The builders were co-nominated by the RESOLVE Campaign and the Calgary Homeless Foundation. Complete story >

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November 26, 2015
Calgary’s Mustard Seed starts #GiveHopeYYC campaign to encourage acts of kindness

Calgarians are being urged to direct some warmth towards those with less and tweet it using the hashtag #GiveHopeYYC.  Options for giving hope includes volunteering, donating or helping to generate awareness for the cause. Complete story >

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November 25, 2015
Nenshi: Let’s make sure everyone has a roof over their head

There are currently over 3,500 homeless in our city and more than 14,000 Calgarians vulnerable to homelessness. The RESOLVE Campaign is a response to that need in our community. RESOLVE is a Calgary-born and Canadian-first collaborative campaign raising $120 million to build the rental homes with supports needed to push Calgary’s plan to end homelessness over the finish line. Everyone involved in RESOLVE is participating because it makes good sense, both economically and socially. Complete story >

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November 25, 2015
Homeless shelters already nearing capacity during recent cold snap

The city’s homeless shelters are filling up as the colder weather grips Calgary. Some shelters are nearing capacity, while others are having to turn people in need elsewhere.  Complete story >

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November 20, 2015
Investing in Hope Grants Award Local Charities

CREB’s Charitable Foundation handed out $150,000 to 15 local non-profit organizations as part of the Investing in Hope awards. Calgary John Howard Society was an award winner, nominated in part for its Roofs for Youth program, which supports youth between the ages of 15-24 to exit homelessness. Complete story >

More on this story
Calgary Herald 

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November 20, 2015
Alberta’s budget is short on details and funding for seniors

Additional affordable seniors housing — especially affordable independent and supportive living — will definitely be needed over the next 20 years as the older adult population doubles in Calgary. Complete story >

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November 19, 2015
Top Calgary chefs to cook dinner for the homeless

Ten of the city’s top chefs will trade their restaurant kitchens for that of The Mustard Seed’s to prepare a meal that will be served to 370 shelter clients. The dinner is an ‘A Seat At Our Table’ initiative, with the goal that this will lead to broader conversations around making affordable food accessible to all Albertans. Complete story >

More on this story
CTV News

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November 19, 2015
Former homeless Calgarian on how he got out of the woods

Social services staff say it’s hard to determine how many homeless camps there are in the city. Gary credits an encounter with staff from Alpha House and says that started the process leading to help and housing. Complete story >

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November 18, 2015
Homeless camp patrol searches city’s secret spots to offer support

Calgary’s Alpha House Encampment Team treks through hill and dale to offer food, blankets and housing. Complete story >

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November 10, 2015
Calgary home builders honoured for work with RESOLVE Campaign

Each of the home builders in the group, including Albi Homes, Brookfield Residential, Calbridge Homes, Cardel Lifestyles, Cedarglen Living Inc., Homes by Avi, Hopewell Residential, Jayman Built, Morrison Homes, StreetSide Developments: A Qualico Company, and Shane Homes pledged $1.4 million to the RESOLVE Campaign to construct affordable housing with supports. Complete story >

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October 29, 2015
NDP budget falls short on seniors housing, critics say

Making sure seniors can “age in place” where they’re comfortable goes beyond building new facilities, said the CEO of Silvera for Seniors. “We need this government to … have a housing strategy to guide their decisions,” said Arlene Adamson. A strategy needs to consider the proper mix between private, for-profit facilities and non-profit ones, as well as how many supportive living spaces in lodge settings are needed relative to long-term care beds, Adamson said. Complete story >

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October 27, 2015
Funding for social programs holds the line, but NDP delays promised tax relief for working families

The budget also includes increased funding for programs aimed at finding permanent homes for the homeless: to $178 million for each of the next three years. Current spending is $162 million and the PCs had planned to freeze funding at $163 million over the same three-year period. “I certainly heard the right things about investment in children, investment in vulnerable families, investment in housing. We just need to see whether that goes into affordable housing, and (if) we can see some investment in rent supports — we make sure that’s flowing through to those who need it most,” said Diana Krecsy, president and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation.  Complete story >

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October 27, 2015
Calgary homeless shelter operating near capacity as temperature drops

The Mustard Seed has room for 370 people at their Foothills shelter in southeast Calgary, and already most evenings they’ve been at capacity. Karen Taylor-Binnie compares this time of year to “rush hour.” “They are coming to the shelters earlier, there’s more sense of scarcity and worry and desperation. They are really wanting to make sure that they do have a mat, they do have a place to sleep, so, there’s added stress,” she said.  Complete story >

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October 26, 2015
Accessible housing a ‘very hidden problem’ 

“People don’t know that their neighbour three houses over is trapped in their home, and with an aging population, I think we’re going to see it all the more,” said Jeff Dyer, executive director of Accessible Housing Calgary. “The need (for accessible housing) is really great. It’s a very hidden problem.” According to Statistics Canada, our country is now home to more people over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 15. These older Canadians increasingly want to remain in their homes as they age rather than move into a retirement home or long-term care facility.  Complete story >

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October 23, 2015
Older Adults Living on Low Incomes Need Housing Options

Even given our temporary higher vacancy rate, we know that the long-term trend will be for more, not less, affordable seniors housing over he next three decades in Calgary. By 2042, the city is estimating that 15 per cent of Calgary’s total population will be older adults, not all of whom will be able to afford market rates. Agencies like Silvera are vital to ensure all older Canadians can enjoy life to the fullest without financial hardship as they age.  Complete story >

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October 22, 2015
UNGX 2nd Annual Charity Trading Day Raises $250,000

NGX, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMX Group and leading North American energy exchange, announced the results of the 2nd Annual NGX Charity Trading Day held on October 15, 2015. NGX will donate $250,000 in proceeds from the day’s transactions to benefit three Calgary charities: the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Special Olympics Calgary and The Calgary Homeless Foundation.  Complete story >

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October 21, 2015
Uniting members of Calgary’s business community with Accessible Housing

Irene Pfeiffer has been a vocal champion for Accessible Housing and has been recognized as this week’s Inspiring Albertan.  Complete story >

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October 15, 2015
Mustard Seed receives new underwear by the thousands 

The Mustard Seed has thousands of pairs of new underwear to give its clients, thanks to a huge donation from a national charity group. Got Ginch/Need Knickers delivered 4,000 pairs of men’s underwear and 1,000 of women’s underwear on Thursday. This will mark the end of a seven-year, cross-Canada initiative to help homeless agencies provide the staple clothing for their clients. Complete story >

More on this story:

Calgary Sun

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October 14, 2015
Accessible rental housing shortage in Calgary causes frustration

A Calgary man fears he may become homeless because of the scarcity of accessible rental accommodation in the city. Complete story >

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October 9, 2015
Senior evicted over kitten finds cat-friendly home downtown

A senior who was evicted from her home over a kitten has finally found a new place to live with Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta, but wishes there were more animal-friendly housing options for Albertans. After the plight of Louise Slade and her kitten Samantha made headlines over the summer, the woman received support from strangers across the city, who told her they, too, had struggled to find pet-friendly rental accommodation. Complete story >

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October 7, 2015
Dinner for Doors – November 12

Come out for an intimate, fun and inspiring night at Dinner for Doors. Help open more doors in the community for the most vulnerable Calgarians. What would it be like to be wheelchair bound for just a few hours? How does it feel to experience limited mobility or reduced vision? Get a taste of it at Dinner for Doors. The evening held by Accessible Housing, strives to elevate levels of awareness of accessibility challenges, and inspire compassion and generosity for people in need of adequate housing.  Complete story >

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October 6, 2015
Fortney: Vital Signs creators already tackling toughest grade 

On Tuesday morning, Patrick is one of the featured speakers at a news conference hosted by the Calgary Foundation. The local charity has just released its 11th annual Vital Signs report, a comprehensive snapshot of the city, how it is faring in the eyes of 1,800 tapped-in citizens, complete with a report card grading in a variety of areas. Along with the report, the foundation also makes another announcement: it is donating $2 million to the RESOLVE Campaign, which will roughly translate into 50 more people like Patrick gaining access to affordable and supported rental housing.  Complete story >

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October 6, 2015
Vital Signs: Calgarians resilient despite recent downturn 

Calgary has weathered tough economic times — and there may be more ahead — but an annual survey of citizens released Tuesday shows many people are facing the challenges with a degree of optimism. Respondents to the Calgary Foundation’s ninth annual Vital Signs survey gave the city an overall B grade, meaning they are generally satisfied with life in Calgary but indicating there’s room for improvement. Complete story >

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October 2, 2015
Avi Urban – A strong RESOLVE

We were thrilled to realize that we could make a real difference in the lives of Calgary’s most vulnerable citizens by doing what we do best, building homes.  And we weren’t alone.  In the summer of 2014, we were one of 11 builders in the city who partnered with the RESOLVE campaign, a group dedicated to building the homes that Calgary needs to reach its 2018 goal. Complete story >

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September 24, 2015
Centron, RESOLVE Campaign commit to housing needs

Among the first to step up was Bob Harris, chief executive of Centron Group of Companies. Norris and cabinet member Jay Westman, chairman and CEO of Jayman BUILT took Harris aside and asked for his help to build a new 45-unit Accessible Housing residence. Harris quickly agreed and brought together three friends to be part of the new venture. The result of that meeting is that the Harris family, with the families of Bill Kujat, of Safeway Holdings; Charlie Guille, of Cougar Construction, and Ross Glen, of RGO Office Products, have enthusiastically provided $5.6 million toward the cost of the new building. Complete story >

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September 23, 2015
Calgary homeless shelter first in country to have polling station

It’s a first for homeless shelters in Canada. The Drop-In Centre in Calgary will have a polling station for the upcoming federal election and held a mock vote Monday. Darcy Halber with the Calgary Homeless Foundation says more than 450 people came out who can now register to vote in the October 19 election.  Complete story >

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September 21, 2015
Calgary Drop-In Centre tests mobile polling station for election day – ‘It’s the first time its been done, to my knowledge, in Canada’

The Calgary Homeless Foundation held a mock election on Monday at four different shelters to allow their clients to experience the voting process.  With the help of Elections Canada, the foundation set up a voter registration booth at the Drop-In Centre to allow people with proper identification to use the centre as their place of residence. Complete story >

More on this story:
Calgary Herald
Global News
Metro News

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September 8, 2015
Lessons from life on the street: ‘Housing First’ principle a challenge in practice

In the span of one August morning, Calgary Homeless Foundation CEO Diana Krecsy met four people on city streets and learned their stories – and their struggles – all by simply stopping to ask.
 It was part of an exercise called the Day of Homelessness, put on since 2013 by the Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness. Complete story >

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August 28, 2015
Calgary’s Alpha House helps homeless addicts get a new start

It is 10 a.m. on a summer morning and Frank the Newf is sipping a beer in his third-floor apartment, telling tales from his fractured life. The litany of hurt includes a broken ankle, a stroke, a suspicious lump removed from his colon, along with doctors telling him he has cirrhosis of the liver. That’s what you get when you’re an alcoholic and live under a Calgary bridge for three years. Or maybe it was five. He’s not sure. Complete story >

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August 21, 2015
Calgary Homeless Foundation CEO on challenges created by tough economy

The Calgary Homeless Foundation set a goal in 2008 to end chronic homelessness in the city in a decade through a philosophy known as Housing First, which emphasizes getting vulnerable people off the street and into stable living arrangements as an initial step, then providing the other support they need. Complete story >

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August 18, 2015
Ketchum Canada’s Philanthropic Trends Quarterly: The Change & Adaptation Issue

Executive Director Sheryl Barlage discusses how RESOLVE is an example of evolution in the charitable sector. Complete story >

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August 18, 2015
Calgary’s urban influencer series: Jay Westman

At the age of 17, Jay Westman was thrown by dad, Al, into the housing industry’s version of ‘sink or swim.’ The self-described “average” student had no “big idea” about what he wanted to do after high school: “I think my parents would have liked me to be a lawyer or a doctor but school was not my strong suit,” said the chairman and CEO of Calgary-based Jayman Built, one of the largest homebuilders in Alberta. Complete story >

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August 17, 2015
Accessibility ramping up with local businesses

A single step may be insignificant for most Calgarians. But for Calgarians with limited mobility, that single step could create a barrier keeping them from local shops, restaurants and other businesses. Ramp It Up is a local project aiming to remove that barrier by adding a small, brightly coloured ramp in front of businesses with single-step entrances. Complete story >

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August 17, 2015
Calgary’s urban influencer series: Alan Norris

He leads a Calgary-based company with assets of $3.2 billion and 1,100 employees in 12 different North American markets. In its 57-year history, the company has developed and built in 62 Calgary neighbourhoods in all four quadrants of the city. But while Alan Norris’s Brookfield Residential Properties has been successful developing communities throughout North America, the president and CEO also leads what may be his biggest task yet: to end homelessness in Calgary. Complete story >

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August 11, 2015
Aging Alberta population to reach 6.2 million by 2041

The number of seniors living in Alberta is expected to more than double by 2041, the year the province’s population is set to reach 6.2 million. According to the population projection released by the government this week, people aged 65 and up will make up roughly 19 per cent of the total population by that year. Complete story >

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August 9, 2015
New urban fruit orchard to benefit Calgary Homeless Foundation tenants

Trees and bushes planted at two Calgary Homeless Foundation apartment buildings in Abbeydale on Sunday are expected to do more than just produce fruit. The new community orchard will provide health benefits to formerly homeless tenants, help the environment, beautify the northeast neighbourhood and build community, according to the people behind the project. Complete story >

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July 28, 2015
Outside-of-the-box look at affordable housing?

A continuous decline in affordable housing, along with an increase in the populations who need it, is forcing Calgary agencies to seek creative solutions.
“I’m looking for anything that can help us provide housing in a more economical way,” said David Watson, president and CEO of Attainable Homes Calgary, a not-for-profit that helps Calgarians at a moderate income level get on the property ladder. Complete story >

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July 27, 2015
Calgary council makes move to improve building accessibility

City council approved a motion Monday to make it easier for people with disabilities to access public buildings. “We have problem with accessibility in a whole bunch of areas,” said Ward 7 councillor Druh Farrell, who introduced the motion. “Think of the isolation that often occurs with individuals who aren’t able to move around their own city very well.” Complete story >

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July 24, 2015
Builders provide comfortable beds to call home at Easter Seals’ camp

This is the first summer of operation for a new accessible dormitory building at the camp for children with special needs. It’s three times the size of the old one with plenty of room including accommodation for eight staff. “In the past, staff slept on mats on the floor beside camper beds,” says Camp Horizon operations director Anna Garcia. Complete story >

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July 22, 2015
Aquasize regimen energizes busy 82-year-old volunteer

While many people view retirement as an opportunity to slow down, others make the most of their new found time. Doreen Kot has been retired for many years but continues to move at a speed that would exhaust a person half her age. Since retiring from a career in the medical field, the 82-year-old has been busy helping others. Her time volunteering assists First Nations people and newcomers to Canada. Complete story >

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July 22, 2015
First Nations national chief talks relationships, and lawsuits, with Calgary business leaders

In his first appearance in Calgary, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in partnership with RESOLVE hosted National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde, where he spoke about the challenges and opportunities facing First Nations and Canada. Complete story >

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July 17, 2015
Calgary failing to make public buildings, communities accessible, says councillor

With Alberta’s population of seniors expected to double in 25 years, it’s time for Calgary to examine how it can make communities and public infrastructure more accessible, says Coun. Druh Farrell. The Ward 7 councillor will introduce a motion this month for administration to examine how the city can integrate accessibility when planning communities and to review the accessibility of city-owned properties. Complete story >

More on this story:
Metro News

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July 10, 2015
A city in need

With the Calgary Stampede shining a spotlight on our city’s sense of community, an event held during this year’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth highlighted the continuing needs of some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens. As part of Stampede Week, Horizon Housing – one of several local organizations dedicated to housing the city’s most vulnerable residents – held a barbecue, with residents on hand from the organization’s properties. Complete story >

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July 8, 2015
Disabled Calgary homeless man spins life around, takes part in Stampede Parade

Rolling through the streets as the East Village Neighbourhood Association’s marshal during the Calgary Stampede parade, Allan Cook was a crowd favourite. But years prior to the parade, Cook was homeless and mentally recovering from a horrific bike accident on a mountain trail that left him partially paralyzed from the neck down. He became a high-functioning quadriplegic on June 14, 2003. Complete story >

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June 26, 2015
Mustard Seed seeking water bottle donations as weekend heat wave looms

With temperatures soaring above 30 C this weekend, the Mustard Seed Calgary is issuing a public plea for water bottle donations to help keep the city’s homeless hydrated and safe. “When we have these warm fronts that come in, we wind up in a deficit with regards to water,” said Andy Lewington, street level manager with the non-profit organization. “We’re very low on our water supply right now. About 100 to 150 people come by our doors every day and many are in some state of crisis because of the heat.” Complete story >

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June 25, 2015
University of Calgary researcher says utilizing sober centres a healthier approach than simply arresting people for being drunk in public

Society should tap into sobering centres rather than arrests in dealing with public drunkenness, a University of Calgary researcher said Thursday. Instead of treating street intoxication as a crime, authorities should heed the results of a year of study using Calgary’s Alpha House detox centre that show a public health approach is cheaper and more effective, said Alina Turner of The School of Public Policy. Complete story >

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June 24, 2015
‘It’s a beautiful, simple, little project:’ Brightly coloured wooden ramps coming to Calgary businesses

For many people, it’s just a single step. But for someone with limited mobility, one small step can be a massive barrier that makes getting into local restaurants, bars, grocery stores, offices, or shops incredibly difficult, if not impossible. There’s some relief in sight — brightly coloured portable wooden ramps will soon be arriving at some single stepped storefronts in Calgary as part of an initiative that aims to make the city more accessible. Complete story >

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June 2015
Do You See Me? (VIDEO)

Short documentary about human rights and discrimination on the streets of Calgary. Watch video >

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June 18, 2015
Canada’s first ‘Homeless Charter of Rights’ unveiled in Calgary

The Homeless Charter of Rights (The Homeless Charter) project, the first of its kind in Canada, was launched Thursday at an outdoor event on the River Walk in the East Village. With funding through the Alberta Human Rights Education and Multicultural Fund, the project aims to end discrimination against the homeless. Its focus is to unify the community as well as bring awareness to discriminatory experiences many homeless individuals face. Complete story >

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June 17, 2015
Drawing on experience to give courage to recovering Calgary women

A Calgary senior is drawing on her own experience with addiction to provide support for younger women who are working their way through the recovery process. Recovery from addictions can be extremely challenging and it helps to have someone who’s been there to offer guidance. Cate Nelson, 83, has been down that road and now spends her senior years helping younger women. Complete story >

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June 16, 2015
Calgary homeless advocates see some success, call for more government support

Homelessness across Alberta has decreased by 15 per cent in absolute terms and in Calgary by 15 per cent per capita since 2008, according to the latest annual report from the Calgary Homeless Foundation. “We still have about 3,500 people (in Calgary) living homeless – chronically homeless – that we need to get housed,” foundation CEO Diana Krecsy said Tuesday. Complete story >

More on this story:
660 News

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June 15, 2015
Vacancy rates, monthly rents both rise in Calgary apartment market

Apartment rents in Calgary jumped almost six per cent during the past year despite weakening demand led by the slumping energy sector. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in its spring market survey, said same sample rents for a two-bedroom apartment rose 5.9 per cent in the 12 months to April 2015. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment grew to $1,319, eclipsed only by Vancouver — at $1,345 — among the major markets surveyed by CMHC. Complete story >

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June 14, 2015
No vacancy: Why Calgary addicts are turned away from detox

With only 40 beds, there are no guarantees that everyone seeking a spot will get one. A recovering addict and three parents who have taken their children to Renfrew Recovery Centre told the Herald they have all seen staff turn people away, sometimes more than half of those who were seeking help. Complete story >

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June 12, 2015
LGBTQ youth homelessness target of Alberta’s new Aura Host Homes Program

Homeless LGBTQ youth in Alberta will soon have a safer option for supported housing through a first-in-Canada program that will offer them places to stay in “host homes” as opposed to institutional shelters, where homophobic violence can be common. Dr. Alex Abramovich, a researcher advising the Alberta government on the project, said there is a clear need for more hospitable services for young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise questioning their gender or sexual identity. Complete story >

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June 12, 2015
Resolve campaign launches two more housing projects with Morrison and Streetside

StreetSide Developments, which is a multi-family builder by Qualico, and Morrison Homes will turn shovels on inner-city residential projects for the Resolve Campaign and Calgary Homeless Foundation this summer. Resolve is a joint effort by nine non-profit agencies, including Calgary Homeless Foundation, to raise $120 million in funding to house 3,000 people facing homelessness in the city. Complete story >

More on this story:
Metro News

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June 5, 2015
Adamson: Let’s take great care of our seniors

A more caring Alberta. This is the commitment the NDP made during the election, and leaders in the area of seniors’ care look forward to engaging with the new government as we all embark on this next adventure in our history. The opportunity to provide the people of this province with a legacy of cutting-edge seniors’ care has never been more within reach. Complete story >

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June 2, 2015
Rainsbury’s MHPM offices overseeing some of Alberta’s biggest projects

I welcomed Simon Rainsbury to Calgary in 2008 when the University of Birmingham graduate emigrated here from the U.K. with his Canadian-born wife to open an office for Gardiner & Theobold. In 2009, he moved over to MHPM Project Leaders and the following year was promoted to the position of vice-president for the region covering Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Complete story >

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May 29, 2015
Hope grows at grand opening of Mustard Seed’s 1010 Centre

The Mustard Seed has been helping low income Calgarians for years and on Friday officially opened its sustainable apartment building in the heart of the city. The 1010 Centre on the corner of 10th Avenue and Centre Street South has been moving in residents since last year and provides private apartments for about 200 people. Complete story >

More on this story:
Calgary Herald
Global News
CREB

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May 28, 2015
Agencies step up to save former addict who spent a year living in Calgary’s woods

Chuck lived in the frigid cold, a 45-minute walk from civilization, and was, as he puts it, getting to the end of his rope. “I was doing a lot of praying at night, let me tell you,” he said. “It was just too much.” He’d struggled with addiction for years and it had cost him dearly. He was too ashamed to reach out for help, too ashamed to even call his own mother in Ontario at times. Complete story >

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May 26, 2015
Affordable housing for people with disabilities slated for Hillhurst-Sunnyside

Construction will begin this summer on an affordable housing development in northwest Calgary for formerly homeless people who have physical disabilities. Aurora on the Park will be at located at 832 10th Street N.W. in the community of Hillhurst-Sunnyside. Right now, an old house sits on the property. It will be demolished to make way for the 25-unit assisted living building. Many welcome the addition of more affordable housing for people with disabilities in Calgary. Complete story >

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May 24, 2015
Calgary Homeless Foundation CEO reflects on first year, new reality under NDP

Almost exactly a year after Diana Krecsy took over as CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the provincial government that provides most of her organization’s funding underwent a radical shift. Tuesday will mark Krecsy’s first anniversary as leader of the group that has pledged to end homelessness in Calgary by 2018, while Monday will mark the first time she will interact with Alberta’s Human Services department under an NDP minister. Complete story >

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May 24, 2015
Hillhurst house yarnbombed in preparation for new affordable housing unit for Calgary’s homeless

Those passing by the dilapidated house nestled at the end of 8 Ave and 10 Street NW might wonder why the whole thing has been swathed in afghan blankets, yarn and even knitted slippers. Linda Hawke, board president of This is My City Art Society, said the goal was to transform the old house into a large-scale art project before it is demolished to make space for a residence to accommodate homeless people with disabilities. Complete story >

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May 18, 2015
Join a cause

Column by RESOLVE Major Gifts Council member Simone Hughes. Complete story >

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May 7, 2015
Warning on ‘Mass Homelessness’ in Australia

Australia could experience “mass homelessness” if the Federal Government fails to continue funding a national strategy, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the issue has warned. Michael Shapcott is co-Chair and a founding member of the National Housing and Homelessness Network in Canada and a founding member of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and the Toronto Coalition Against Homelessness. Complete story >

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April 30, 2015
A national housing strategy: Without one Calgary suffers

Calgary’s got a bit of a housing problem. Well that’s a major understatement. Between April 2013 and April 2014, Calgary’s population grew by almost 40,000 people. Finding a place to live is at the top of a newcomer’s list, but finding an affordable place – ideally spending around 30 per cent of your gross income on payments — isn’t quite as easy. That problem’s only exacerbated if you’re living under the poverty line. Complete story >

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April 24, 2015
Horizon Housing Society received a $1 million donation from RBC going toward a 160-unit affordable housing complex in the city’s southeast

Horizon Housing Society has been handed a $1 million donation to support construction of an affordable housing project in Calgary’s southwest. The Royal Bank of Canada made the donation announcement Friday at the Alice Bissett Place, a supportive housing complex with 113 suites located in the southeast. Complete story >

More on this story:
CBC (at 3:45)

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April 23, 2015
Lack of homelessness talk during election campaign: CHF

With the provincial election less than two weeks away, advocates for preventing homelessness say there should be more focus on the issue. The Calgary Homeless Foundation along with a number of other agencies are involved in a research symposium on data collection when it comes to programs that are offered and success rates. Complete story >

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April 21, 2015
Wasted Part 3: Who’s Using Drugs? Who’s Going to Jail?

In part three of Wasted: How we lost the billion dollar war on drugs, Dan Riendeau asks two simple questions. Who is using drugs and who is going to jail for drug use? The answers to those questions are not always the same. Alpha House and the DOAP Team are discussed. Listen to broadcast >

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March 26, 2015
Budget: Small increases seen in budget for those with disabilities

The Prentice government is holding the line on spending for programs that help vulnerable Albertans. Funding for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) have received incremental funding increases intended to keep up with population growth and inflation. Complete story >

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March 25, 2015
Government paring down Calgary Young Offender Centre, moving youth to Edmonton

Moving young offenders who currently reside in Calgary 300 kilometres north is a huge blow to vulnerable youth that could result in an increased crime rate, say those who work with the teenagers. The government is paring down the Calgary Young Offender Centre, in an effort to “ensure operations are efficient and resources are being used wisely,” a move that’s shocked staff at the centre and upset lawyers and youth advocates. Complete story >

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March 2015
RESOLVE meets challenges of Calgary homelessness

The campaign to end homelessness in the city is getting the needed support from its homebuilders but more needs to be done, according to Jay Westman, one of Calgary’s most prominent builders, and a leading voice in the movement. Complete story >

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March 18, 2015
Lack of accessible housing keeps Calgary man in hospital months after spinal cord injury

A Calgary man has been living in hospital for months because he has no place to call home. Patrick Lewis had a mountain biking accident last October that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was supposed to be released from the Foothills hospital in January, but the 23-year-old — who now uses a wheelchair — has not been able to find accessible housing. Complete story >

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March 17, 2015
Who are Calgary’s homeless? New study compiles years of data

Years of data contained in a University of Calgary study released Tuesday confirmed what agencies helping the homeless have long suspected: a small percentage of chronically homeless people are taking up a significant portion of emergency shelter beds. The study, which examined nearly 33,000 people who stayed in Calgary homeless shelters over a five-year period, found the overwhelming majority of them stayed there infrequently and for a short period of time. Complete story >

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March 13, 2015
Mustard Seed’s new CEO grateful for opportunity to help

Stephen Wile loves to quote an old proverb that states every flower must grow through dirt, and in his new role as chief executive of The Mustard Seed he’s grateful for the opportunity to help men and women with hopeful hearts push through the dirt of despair to find new a new beginning. Wile brings wonderful credentials and experience to his new position. He was a pastor for 10 years before changing vocational paths to become an organizational and leadership consultant. Complete story >

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March 12, 2015
Calgary social agencies want work on ‘safe jail’ to continue with new chief

As the Chief of the Calgary Police Service Rick Hanson officially retires on Friday, it was an item left unchecked on his to-do list during his tenure as chief. One of the final steps of the soon-to-be retired chief’s Crime Prevention and Reduction Continuum, the Secure Detox and Treatment Centre — also known as a “safe jail” — was a concept Hanson rallied behind as head of the CPS. Complete story >

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March 10, 2015
Accessible Housing offers Calgary families home renovations – and hope

After Coleen Pomkoski was born, her parents could think only seconds ahead: “Will she live?” Coleen coded after her birth and it took doctors eight minutes to get her heart pumping. It was another 20 minutes before she took her first breath. She suffers from epilepsy and cerebral palsy as a result, binding her to a wheelchair with constant access to an oxygen tank. Complete story >

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March 5, 2015
Alberta aims to ‘flip’ its homeless strategy, fit services specifically to clients

A former oil executive who spent a decade in and out of homelessness says Alberta’s plan to make its services more adaptable to clients’ needs is “exactly” what needs to be done, but he’s not confident those in charge will do it right. Doug, a 56-year-old Calgary resident whose last name Metro agreed not to publish, recently moved into a subsidized apartment after about 10 years of transient living. Complete story >

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March 4, 2015
Calgary renews $676K in funding for 11 programs aimed at nipping crime in the bud

Each dollar the city invests in teenagers like “Jeff” yields $9.13 in “social return on investment,” Leslie McMechan of the Calgary John Howard Society told city councillors Wednesday. His was a “typical story” among the 104 teens the society served through its child and youth empowerment strategy last year, funded by an $80,000 grant from the city’s Crime Prevention Investment Plan (CPIP), McMechan said. Complete story >

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March 3, 2015
Foundation calling for $290 million in new funds to end homelessness

At an additional $290 million, the cost of fully implementing Calgary’s 10-year plan to end homelessness by 2018 is a high price tag for a provincial government and corporate sector grappling with low oil prices. The president and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation acknowledged it’s a formidable request — but she said Tuesday the cost of doing nothing will be much higher. Complete story >

More on this story:
Metro News
CBC

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February 28, 2015
Calgary Resolve campaign helping those in need of affordable housing

Bob Patrick sits in the comfort of his bachelor apartment in the Glamorgan neighbourhood, looking out of his third floor window at a site where more affordable housing is planned for the future. A battle with mental illness almost put the 55-year-old Patrick on the city’s streets a few years ago, which would have left him in the same uncertain situation as about 3,500 Calgarians who seek comfort and shelter each day. Complete story >

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February 27, 2015
What makes Jim Gray swim?

When Jim Gray slips into the pool at the Eau Claire YMCA early Thursday, it will be to complete a journey that began in 1992, when lifeguards challenged a group of early morning swimmers to swim the distance between Calgary and Vancouver. Once that goal was conquered, after 38,900 lengths in the 25-metre pool over three and half years, Gray wasn’t ready to quit. Complete story >

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February 26, 2015
‘Let’s end homelessness. Let’s do it in Calgary. Let’s be first’

As part of the Resolve Campaign, 11 builders are on board to build residential projects in a $15.8 million total commitment. But the $20 million mark may be around the corner. Jay Westman reached out to the Calgary Home Builders Foundation for help with one of three new projects. Complete story >

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February 21, 2015
More than 400 Calgarians brave the cold for homelessness

Supporting a good cause has never been so cool. Residents in 80 cities across the country will soon be experiencing a snapshot of what it’s like to live on the street in Canada as part of the Coldest Night of the Year event, which aims to raise funds and awareness for homelessness. Complete story >

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February 20, 2015
Panhandling on the rise in Calgary: new report

The amount of tickets handed out to panhandlers has more than doubled over the past five years. Director of Programs at the Mustard Seed Cliff Wiebe tells Calgary Today he understands why people are on the corner asking for money. He says,”People panhandle because they’re at an extremely low point in their life. Nobody does it because they just want to get out there and panhandle they’re at the bottom and often in crisis when they do it.” Complete story >

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February 13, 2015
Bridging the gap between homelessness and self sufficiency (VIDEO)

A low-income housing project in southeast Calgary is set to benefit from the fundraising efforts of the participants in the Coldest Night of the Year charity walk. Acadia Place, a 58-unit complex located on Heritage Dr. S.E. which opened in 2009, will receive some of the proceeds from the Saturday, February 21 event which aims to bring an end to homelessness. Complete story >

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February 8, 2015
Homeless count (VIDEO)

Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, discusses results from the Alberta Point-in-Time Count, what it says about the plan in place, and what’s next. Watch video >

More on this story:
Global Calgary – Evening News
Calgary Herald
Calgary Sun
CTV

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February 7, 2015
Calgarians rally for homeless on Coldest Night of the Year

Imagine being a homeless person, walking the streets of downtown Calgary on bitterly cold evenings. For the last few years, the Coldest Night of the Year initiative has been raising awareness about this critical social issue in the community with an event that is also raising money for programs that help the homeless. Complete story >

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February 5, 2015
Homeless and over the hill

Calgary was the first city in Canada to embark on the ten-year goal to end homelessness. Seven years in, progress has been slow, says the Calgary Homeless Foundation. “The challenge for us has been that there is such a large migrating population,” says the Foundation’s Louise Gallagher. Complete story >

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February 5, 2015
More than half of the homeless people counted Alberta-wide in 2014 were in Calgary

Calgary remains the “epicentre of homelessness” in Alberta, according to a final report released Thursday based on a point-in-time count of homeless people conducted in October. A total of 3,555 individuals were counted as homeless in Calgary, accounting for 53 per cent of the total homeless people counted across the province. Seven communities participated in the province-wide count, including Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Grand Prairie, Wood Buffalo, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge. Complete story >

View the 2014 Alberta Point-in-Time Homeless Count Report >

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February 3, 2015
Toque Tuesday aims to fund an end to homelessness

It’s Toque Tuesday: an annual event to raise money for the homeless. There are an estimated 235,000 people without shelter across Canada, and on Tuesday, tons of volunteers will be hitting the streets, selling hats in order to fund a solution. Complete story >

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February 3, 2015
Calgary non-profit agencies planning for the next disaster

People need aid agencies when disaster strikes, which is why Calgary’s non-profit sector is drafting a plan to make sure those organizations can keep operating when the city is crippled by a major emergency. The sector’s ability was sorely tested in 2013, when major flooding in southern Alberta not only forced thousands of people from their homes, but also had some non-profit agencies scrambling to escape the deluge. Complete story >

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January 29, 2015
Team that works with homeless addicts changing lives and saving money, study says

It’s difficult to put a dollar figure on changing someone’s life, but one Calgary non-profit agency has tried to measure it by studying the work of a team that helps homeless people and addicts downtown. Alpha House released research this week that says the Downtown Outreach Addiction Partnership (DOAP) Team creates nearly $9.43 in benefits for every $1 spent on the program, which finds help for addicts living on the street and takes them there — whether it’s a to shelter, a detox centre or medical treatment. Complete story >

View the report >

More on this story:
Metro News

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January 7, 2015
Disabled Calgary man seeks new home after broken elevator left him stranded

A Calgary man who became trapped in his apartment after the elevator in his building broke down is struggling to find a new place to live before the elevator gets shut down again for servicing. Oliver Costa has cerebral palsy and lives in a second-floor suite in northeast Calgary. Complete story >

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January 5, 2015
City homeless shelters near capacity with Calgary cold snap

With temperatures plunging below -20 C, some of Calgary’s homeless population risks being left out in the cold. The Mustard Seed was nearly filled to the brim over the weekend, with only 15 beds left out of 370. “This kind of weather is really hard on the homeless population in Calgary,” said Cliff Wiebe, managing director of the Mustard Seed. Complete story >

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December 27, 2014
Calgary Mustard Seed’s 30 Days of Giving Hope campaign a major success

Calgary’s generosity shone this Christmas, leaving a local shelter with more than enough donations to meet their immediate needs. Christmas Eve marked the end of the Mustard Seed’s “30 Days of Giving Hope” campaign, a celebration of the organization’s 30th anniversary of working to raise money, donations and awareness for Calgary’s homeless. Complete story >

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December 22, 2014
Charities ask Calgarians to dig deeper

Two of the city’s major charitable organizations say Calgarians need to dig a bit deeper to help those in need. Complete story >

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December 20, 2014
Mustard Seed campaign uses airbnb ads to raise awareness for homelessness

Travellers looking online for a short-term rental in Calgary over the holiday season may be offered a few cheap but less-than-appealing listings. For $20 dollars a night, the listing reads that you can sleep next to a garbage dumpster. It’s a part of a campaign to raise awareness about the lack of affordable housing in Calgary. Complete story >

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December 16, 2014
Broken elevator leaves disabled man stranded in condo for over a week

A Calgary man with cerebral palsy says he’s been trapped in his second floor condo for more than a week because the elevator is out of service. Oliver Costa, who is in a wheelchair, hasn’t been out since the elevator in his Bridgeland building stopped working a week ago. Complete story >

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December 12, 2014
Students spread joy with Christmas cards and letters to seniors (NEWS RELEASE)

The spirit of giving is alive in a group of students at the Calgary French & International School, who are crafting personal letters and Christmas cards that will be delivered next week to a group of city seniors who might not otherwise get to enjoy the season’s greetings. Complete story >

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December 9, 2014
30 Days of Giving Hope to the Homeless (VIDEO)

For their 30th anniversary, Calgary’s Mustard Seed homeless shelter has launched a campaign challenging Calgarians to do good for homeless. Watch video >

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December 8, 2014
Calgary’s The Mustard Seed to lease underground parking stalls to generate funds

The Mustard Seed has the go-ahead to lease the underground parking stalls at its 1010 Centre in a bid to generate “much-needed revenue.” The centre, which opened in March, features 224 affordable-housing units, but the bulk of tenants in the building do not own vehicles. Complete story >

More on this story:
Global News
Calgary Sun

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December 4, 2014
Calgary’s homeless crisis spurs public forum

The leaders of five organizations that work with Calgary’s homeless population will converge on Thursday afternoon at a public forum on homelessness hosted by Liberal MLA David Swann. Swann, the Alberta Liberal human services critic, organized the forum in an attempt to search for solutions to what he says is a growing homelessness crisis in Calgary. Complete story >

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December 2, 2014
Pop up clothing store for homeless Calgarians (VIDEO)

Adam Melnyk joins Global Calgary with details on Alpha House’s popup clothing store for Calgary’s homeless called The Street Store. Watch video >

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December 1, 2014
Mustard Seed delivers gift of sight

It’s an early Christmas present for 40 homeless men and women in Calgary: the Mustard Seed is holding a special eyeglass clinic Monday. A volunteer nurse will conduct a number of eye tests and then the 40 guests will be provided with reading glasses. Complete story >

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November 28, 2014
Philanthropy tops in Calgary

It has been said that Calgary is, on a per-capita basis, one of the leading philanthropic city’s in North America. And from coast to coast, our fellow Canadians follow Calgary’s example by donating millions upon millions of dollars-and volunteer hours-to myriad charitable organizations. Of particular pride to us all is that Canada was the first nation to formally legislate Nov. 15 as National Philanthropy Day. Complete story >

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November 22, 2014
Resolving to build solutions for Calgary’s homeless

Each year on National Housing Day — Nov. 22 — people across Canada lobby, rally and tweet about the need for more affordable housing. In Calgary, with our low vacancy rates and escalating rents, this message really hits home. Almost every week, local news stories highlight a young couple with low-paying jobs and small children who can’t find a rental house for less than $2,000 a month. Complete story >

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November 22, 2014
Mustard Seed challenges Calgarians to give 30 days of hope to the city’s homeless to mark three decades

To mark three decades of providing warm, safe refuge for Calgary’s homeless, the Mustard Seed is using the occasion to spread awareness of the city’s growing homeless problem. Cliff Wiebe, managing director of the Mustard Seed, announced Thursday the launch of their Thirty Days of Giving Hope campaign. Complete story >

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November 21, 2014
Homeless numbers in Calgary remain steady despite city’s relentless growth

Despite a relentless tide of newcomers arriving in Calgary, the number of homeless people has remained unchanged since earlier this year. A one-night snapshot of Calgary’s homeless population taken on Oct. 16 counted 3,531 people in the city’s shelters, short-term housing facilities or living on the streets — a number virtually unchanged from the 3,533 counted in January 2014. Complete story >

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November 18, 2014
Homeless foundation plans affordable housing project in Bankview

The Calgary Homeless Foundation plans to build an affordable housing development in the southwest community of Bankview in the hopes of helping more Calgarians get off — and stay off — the streets. The 24-unit assisted living development is slated to be built in the 1800 block of 17th Street S.W. and could be finished by next winter. Complete story >

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November 14, 2014
Groovy Seeds of Hope gala raises $500,000

The Seeds of Hope Gala, hosted by the fabulous Jay and Karen Westman of Jayman fame, was one for the record books and raised a cool half a million dollars for The Mustard Seed. The gala itself, held Nov. 1 in Gasoline Alley, was an SRO success and was attended by 280 people who donned their grooviest garb in support of the ’60s inspired fete. Complete story >

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November 13, 2014
Affordable housing crunch difficult for Calgarians with disabilities

A Calgary couple with physical disabilities are facing the prospect of living in their trailer this winter. Steve Wilcox and September Chabai have been living in a trailer attached to their truck for the past six months. They spent the summer travelling around looking for a place to live, but recently returned to Calgary, the city they consider their home. Complete story >

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November 11, 2014
RESOLVE Campaign (VIDEO)

A Calgary campaign is looking to help veterans avoid a life on the streets by creating a safe place veterans can live while they receive support. Watch video >

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November 11, 2014
Magazine gives veterans a voice

In an unassuming building not far from where the Calgary tower burns bright to honor veterans in the city, those that have served our country work to try and put their lives back together. Veteran Street Voice is a collaboration of poems, photos and stories compiled by vulnerable veterans that are looking for an outlet. Complete story >

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November 11, 2014
Cold temperatures put Calgary Drop-In Centre over capacity (VIDEO)

Shelters in Calgary are opening emergency beds due to the recent frigid weather. The Mustard Seed shelter is discussed at 0:58. Watch video >

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November 10, 2014
Dozens of drawers dropped off at Mustard Seed to help homeless

Thousands of pairs of ginch and knickers were delivered to the Mustard Seed on Monday and the donation couldn’t come at a better time as temperatures dip into the minus double digits. Brent King started GotGinch and Need Knickers in 2008 to fill the need for under garments in Canadian Shelters, an issue he says is often over looked. Complete Story >

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November 7, 2014
The importance of Accessible Housing in Calgary (VIDEO)

Tenants at Accessible Housing’s Fourth Dimension group home challenge a CTV reporter to complete everyday tasks in a wheelchair. Watch video >

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November 5, 2014
RESOLVE donors honoured for generosity

The RESOLVE Campaign congratulates Calgary businessman and philanthropist, David Bissett, on being named Lifetime Philanthropist as part of the Generosity of Spirit Awards. Mr. Bissett is among an esteemed group of individuals, families, youth, groups and businesses to be honoured by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Calgary and Area Chapter for their demonstration of philanthropy through outstanding contributions of talent, leadership and financial support. View News Release >

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November 2014
Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 – Jeff Dyer

To Jeff Dyer, life is a lot like a marathon. “Running a marathon is about making a thousand small, disciplined steps toward a bigger goal,” he says. “It’s the same in life and in work: if you want something greater than yourself, or you want your organization to be truly great, it’s a thousand small decisions.” Dyer has run marathons all over the continent, but his main goal in life is to serve vulnerable people living on the margins and to help end homelessness in Calgary — a huge feat in a city with a one per cent vacancy rate. Complete Story >

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November 1, 2014
Working on it

Re: “Affordable housing key to easing homelessness, says national report,” Oct. 29, and “Critics question progress on plan to end homelessness,” Oct. 26. Complete Story >

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October 29, 2014
Affordable housing key to easing homelessness, says national report

It’s the little things that Ellen Riley likes most about her new apartment: A bathtub she doesn’t have to share with anyone else, a kitchen she can cook in and the thermostat. “Today I went outside and I came back in and it was warm. It was so nice,” said the 57-year-old, who was living on the streets last year at this time. “I have a soaker tub and I can get in it whenever I want. No one gets to use it but me.”  Complete Story >

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October 29, 2014
Family struggling to find a home (VIDEO)

Bishop O’Byrne Housing’s Myrt Butler speaks about the lack of affordable housing. (At 1:26) Watch video >

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October 3, 2014
Homeless In Calgary; Everything But A Home (VIDEO)

When Tibor and Cheryl are together, they feel at home. Even if that home doesn’t have walls. In part two of this three part documentary mini-series by Calgary Police, we’ll find out how the couple met, go on a dumpster diving date, and learn how every interaction with a homeless person can change their life forever.  Watch Video >


October 3, 2014
Bridgeland celebrates new affordable housing complex

The Bishop O’Byrne Housing is celebrating its latest affordable housing complex in the northeast. It’s been open since January 2013 and was built with a $10 million grant from the provincial and federal governments. Complete Story >


October 2, 2014
Adamson: Not all seniors are wealthy — many need help

Working as an advocate for seniors’ issues can feel like pushing water uphill. Yet, after a challenging few years, which has seen headlines of flood and fire, bad food, bed sores and a chronic shortage of affordable seniors’ housing, it finally looked like we might move forward. Complete Story >


August 28, 2014
Formerly homeless Calgarians ‘taking the next step in their lives’ with volunteer work

After two years of convincing, Randy Heine finally agreed to accept help from staff at Alpha House Calgary in finding him a place to live. “It took a long time but finally I caved in,” said the 55-year-old, born-and-raised Calgarian, who spent six years prior living on city streets. Complete Story >


August 11, 2014
Homeless Management Information System ‘a godsend’ for front-line Calgary workers

Dozens of agencies employing hundreds of people are working to lift thousands of Calgarians out of homelessness – and helping them all co-ordinate their efforts is a piece of software known as HMIS. Complete Story >


Summer 2014
My life changed the day I…

For Calgarian Bob Patrick, life changed the day he moved into his own home. After being diagnosed in 2002 with depression, anxiety and paranoia, Patrick bounced from job to job for years. In 2009, fired yet again, he was living in an apartment he describes as “a slum existence” and facing eviction. Complete Story >


July 12, 2014
Horizon brings Stampede to tenants

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is winding down. But not everyone can take full advantage of the Stampede party. “It could be because of access or health issues or because they can’t afford it,” says Michael Pineo, a resident at Alice Bissett Place in Inglewood, an affordable housing initiative spearheaded by Horizon Housing Society. Complete Story >


July 10, 2014
Accessible Housing AGM Video

Watch Video >


July 9, 2014
Homeless Calgarians to benefit from federal housing initiative

A $31-million gift from the federal government will help fund 240 housing units for homeless Calgarians as part of the Housing First initiative, which aims to provide housing before offering resources to address underlying issues. Complete Story >


July 8, 2014
Swann: Empower cities to solve affordable housing crisis

If you are like most people, you have never had to sleep on the streets, in a shelter, or even come close to doing so. Having a place to call home is something that most of us take for granted. However, for too many people in Alberta today, homelessness and housing insecurity are all too real. We have an affordable housing crisis, and it is long past time that it was addressed. Complete Story >


July 5, 2014
RESOLVE building to fight homelessness

A year after its launch, the RESOLVE campaign has made significant progress in its fight against homelessness. RESOLVE was spearheaded by eight companies from the land development and home building industries — Albi Homes, Brookfield Residential Properties, Cedarglen Homes, Homes by Avi, Jayman MasterBuilt, Morrison Homes, Qualico and Shane Homes — that together committed to build $11.2 million worth of rental units for the homeless in Calgary. Complete Story >


June 20, 2014
East Village: Displaced seniors had no idea what they were in for

When the Elbow River began to overflow its banks on Friday, June 21, 2013, the 603 residents of three seniors affordable housing complexes in Calgary’s East Village had no idea what they were in for. Complete Story >


June 9, 2014
Seniors affordable housing shortage becoming a ‘crisis’, advocate says

A shortage of affordable housing for seniors is reaching a state of crisis in Calgary, advocates say. Arlene Adamson, CEO of Silvera for Seniors — a non-profit affordable housing provider, said her organization’s waitlist has more than doubled in the last three years. “We talk about the 650 on the waitlist. But we have a tsunami behind that,” she said. Complete Story >


June 2014
The savvy of Mac Van Wielingen

This is the 22nd anniversary for the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary together with the Calgary Chamber to recognize outstanding leaders in the Calgary business community while honouring exceptional demonstrations of vision and leadership, sound business sense and a commitment to the community – with the Distinguished Business Leader Award. Complete Story on Page 43 >


Spring/Summer 2014
He’d Like to Build the World a Home

Shrinking vacancy rates, rising rents and an influx of newcomers add up to “situation critical” for affordable housing in Calgary. Sadly, those most at risk are low-income seniors with mental illness or addictions, says Lawrence Braul, MSW’94, CEO of the Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta. The solution, says Braul, is straightforward. Complete Story >


May 22, 2014
New CEO has many challenges as she takes reins of Calgary Homeless Foundation

When Diana Krecsy starts as CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation on Monday, she takes the reins of an organization grappling with the changing face of homelessness in the city. Since the beginning of a municipal 10-year plan to end homelessness in 2008, Calgary’s residential vacancy rate has dropped to one per cent and the affordable housing supply remains scarce as newcomers continue streaming into the city. Complete Story >


May 2, 2014
Lunch With: John Evans and Jay Westman talk about managing growth, reducing risk and giving back

Never let it be said that a summer spent painting houses can’t turn into a career. For John Evans, running a crew of painters gave him real-world business experience that taught him the value of exceeding expectations and living up to your word, and how to deal with temporary labour. Complete Story >


April 29, 2014
Kolias: Every Calgarian should have a place to call home

The title of the book written by Susan Scott on the history of the Calgary Homeless Foundation and The Committee to End Homelessness (with a 10-year plan) is a very catchy one: The Beginning of the End (of homelessness that is). The founder and visionary of the Calgary Homeless Foundation was the late Art Smith. Complete Story >


April 28, 2014
Rooming house turned masterpiece

Watch Video >


March 9, 2014
Mustard Seed — New housing

Watch Video>


March 5, 2014
Michelle Thrush on Breakfast Television

Watch Video >


February 25, 2014
Norris: RESOLVE to end homelessness will save lives, money

New figures released this week show that while the growth in the number of people without a home in Calgary has slowed, tonight, as many as 3,533 people will sleep in an emergency shelter, in short-term housing or on the street. Calgary is the epicentre of homelessness in Alberta. People move here attracted by our strong labour market, only to find low vacancy rates and rising rents make it virtually impossible to find and keep a home. Complete Story >


August 1, 2013
Hope at large – Hope for the homeless

Calgary’s home builders and land developers have stepped up to the plate again — this time swinging for the fences. “I guess it took about an hour, less than that really, because we were talking golf and some other stuff. I got some sandwiches and that was about it,” says Alan Norris with a wide grin recalling a meeting he hosted to seek the home-building industry’s financial support in getting a leg up on the serious shortage of affordable, permanent, and supportive housing in Calgary. Complete Story >


July 1, 2013
The RESOLVE to end homelessness

May and June have been busy months for giving back and for setting builder-spearheaded ground- breaking precedents in community partnerships and in well-needed and unique initiatives that address not only the basic necessities but also some serious social issues. Take for example RESOLVE, an innovative community-driven fundraising campaign aimed at creating a diverse mix of affordable, rent-based housing units throughout the city of Calgary. Complete Story >

RESOLVE Press Releases:

Aurora on the Park, permanent supportive housing for 25 formerly homeless and vulnerable Calgarians, is now ready to open its doors

Providence House, an affordable rental home with supports for 24 formerly homeless and vulnerable women in Calgary, is now ready to open its doors – Sept. 29, 2016

Zurich commits funding to help house Calgary’s chronically homeless – Sept. 12, 2016

Collaboration leads to 45 new affordable homes for Calgarians with limited mobility – Sept. 8, 2016

Affordable housing project, Stepping Stone Manor ready to open its doors – June 28, 2016

Prelude in Radisson Heights leads the way for new affordable housing for homeless Calgarians –  May 18, 2016

The RESOLVE Campaign helps two affordable housing complexes pay off their mortgages – May 9, 2016

Affordable housing project, Stepping Stone Manor nears completion – March 8, 2016

National Housing Day raises awareness about housing and homelessness – Nov. 24, 2015

RESOLVE home builders honoured for generosity – Nov. 13, 2015

TD Bank Group announces $750,000 gift to the RESOLVE Campaign to support affordable housing in Calgary – Sept. 16, 2015

Collaboration leads to new affordable housing for homeless Calgarians – June 9, 2015

The Mustard Seed and RESOLVE celebrate the 1010 Centre – May 29, 2015

RBC announces $1 Million gift to the RESOLVE Campaign to support affordable housing in Calgary – Apr. 24, 2015

Students spread joy with Christmas cards and letters to seniors – Dec. 12, 2014

Helping veterans find a place to call home, Madison place provides lifeline – Nov. 10, 2015

RESOLVE donors honoured for generosity – David Bissett named Lifetime Philanthropist – Nov. 5, 2014