Calgary Transit and Calgary Alpha House Partner to Help the City’s Vulnerable

After a successful pilot program in 2018, Calgary Transit and Calgary Alpha House will continue their partnership to help our city’s vulnerable population connect to medical aid, housing support and addiction services. The pilot focused on the CTrain system from Sunalta Station to Victoria Park Stampede Station, and due to its success will continue through 2019.

A community outreach team, consisting of a Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) worker and a Calgary Transit Peace Officer, interacts with Calgarians facing homelessness or addiction, troubled youth and people with developmental disabilities to help them find the resources they need. The team’s approach is to build relationships with vulnerable individuals and achieve positive, long-term solutions.

“The community outreach team provided assistance on 569 occasions between September 2018 and February 2019,” says Adam Melnyk, outreach manager at Calgary Alpha House. “They have been very effective at creating relationships with Calgarians on Calgary Transit and getting them started on the road to building a better life.”

Calgary Transit has seen a decrease in the number of customer-reported incidents and safety concerns—particularly a decrease in social disorder reports.

“Through the work of this team, we’ve started to see some real changes in how outreach clients perceive someone in a uniform,” says Brian Whitelaw, coordinator public safety and enforcement with Calgary Transit. “Increasingly, vulnerable people are seeing our officers as people they can go to for help and understanding.”

The partnership program between Calgary Transit and Calgary Alpha House, dubbed DOAP Transit, is funded by The City of Calgary’s Crime Prevention Investment Plan, which also provides funding for DOAP Beltline. DOAP Downtown is funded through The City’s Community Action on Mental Health & Addictions.

If CTrain riders see someone who needs assistance, they can use a Calgary Transit help phone or dial 403-262-1000 (option 1). In an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.