CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired) – Calgary’s Updated Plan to End Homelessness takes a bold, community-driven approach to ensure no Calgarian gets trapped in homelessness. “We based this third and final update to the Plan on the evidence as collected in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) on what works and on the fundamental principle that home is a core need of every Calgarian. A principle we can fulfill on when we act collectively,” says Diana Krecsy, President & CEO of The Calgary Homelessness Foundation (CHF), the foundation charged with implementing the Plan in 2008. CHF will continue to act as a backbone agency in driving towards success and the end of chronic homelessness in Calgary by 2018.
When launched in 2008, The Plan outlined a number of targets based on a small amount of Calgary data and evidence primarily sourced from outside of Canada on ending homelessness planning. Of note in this update is that the consultation process was extensive with over 800 comments provided through two years of community consultations. In addition to community input, the data gathered through the Homeless Information Management System (HMIS) which was implemented over the past 7 years has provided for evidence-based decision-making and planning that is completely Calgary-centered.
“This update is driven by community input and its success is based on community impact,” says Jeff Dyer, Executive Director, Accessible Housing, Calgary. “Ending homelessness goes beyond just the homeless-serving sector doing their part. It requires every Calgarian, every level of government and community to pitch in and take action.”
The Updated Plan will be housed at a new website, www.ihearthomeyyc.com. “CHF doesn’t own the Plan. It never did,” says Krecsy. “All Calgarians own it and its success impacts everyone. Collectively, we want to encourage every agency, government department, social sector service-provider and Calgarian to take ownership of what they can do to end homelessness. To do that, we believe it’s essential that we provide a more inclusive place for Calgarians to state how they will add value to the Plan and where they’ve chosen to make an impact on ending homelessness. No one can end homelessness alone, but we can do it together.”
The Plan has experienced significant success since its launch in 2008. Approximately 6,000 people have been housed, growth in homelessness has been stopped and the System of Care has been streamlined and enhanced to provide for a more coordinated level of care for individuals as well as collaboration between agencies.
This Update identifies three key targets to achieve by 2018:
- House 100% of those experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness, a total of 3,200 people,
- Stabilize 35% of households at risk or experiencing transitional homelessness, a total of 9,400 households,
- Reduce the average length of stay in singles emergency shelters to 10 days and 14 days for family shelters, reductions of about 60%.
When achieved, these targets will reduce the total number enumerated in the Homeless Point-in-Time Count by 70%.
The total cost of implementing every measure proposed in the plan is estimated at $406 million. Much of the total has been allocated through current government sources, financing and projected funds from the RESOLVE Campaign, a nine agency $120 million capital campaign that will provide homes for 3,000 Calgarians.
Based on current funding commitments, an additional $290 million from 2015 to 2018 is required to meet the needs of 3,200 people experiencing chronic homelessness and 9,400 at risk households.
“The plan is working,” says Krecsy. “We can’t afford to stop now. We must act collectively to ensure long term success and thus continue to reduce the overall costs of homelessness on society.” Those costs include the burden on public service systems such as health care, EMS, Fire and Police as well as the justice system. Evidence shows that once housed, costs to public service systems reduce significantly as formerly homeless individuals and families stabilize in housing with supports.
A copy of the Plan at a Glance and the full Plan can be found at www.ihearthomeyyc.com as of 10:30am March 3, 2015.
ABOUT I HEART HOME YYC
I Heart Home YYC is a virtual community where Calgarians can find information on Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness as well as who’s doing what, when and how to end homelessness in this city. In addition, Calgarians can commit to contribute to working collectively to end homelessness in Calgary.
ABOUT THE CALGARY HOMELESS FOUNDATION
The Calgary Homeless Foundation leads the implementation of Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness in partnership with the many homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in Calgary once and for all.