Beginning in 1992 with the first Biennial Count of Homeless Persons, The City focused its research efforts on issues of poverty and shelter. An Affordable Housing Strategy was prepared in 2002, which called for a greater understanding of housing need in Calgary. As the community learned about the housing situation of many lower income households, whether sheltered or homeless, a new community-based approach to providing affordable housing and ending homelessness emerged.
The Calgary Committee to End Homelessness was formed in 2007—consisting of government representatives as well as business and community leaders. The research that had been conducted by The City on affordable housing and homelessness helped them to shape their understanding of the issues and create comprehensive solutions. The result was Calgary’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, which was released in 2008 and is being implemented by the Calgary Homeless Foundation. One part of the plan involves research coordination and the development of a Homeless Management Information System, which will make data on homelessness and affordable housing available in real time. As a result, the Social Policy & Planning Division of Community and Neighbourhood Services at The City of Calgary is stepping back from its previous role of producing new research on affordable housing and homelessness. Several reports remain relevant and well-used as resources for other governments and community agencies.
“Homelessness is not only a housing problem, but it is always a housing problem. The central observation about the diverse group of Canadians known as ‘the homeless’ is that they are people who once had housing but are now unhoused. Canada’s housing system once had room for virtually everyone; now it does not.” – David Hulchanski, Housing Policy for Tomorrow’s Cities (2002)
2008 Count of Homeless Persons in Calgary – Executive Summary (2008)
2008 Count of Homeless Persons in Calgary – Full Report (2008)
Background Research for the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness (2007)
Best Practices in Conducting Counts of Homeless Persons, 1992-2008 (2009)
Homelessness: What Do We Know? (2007)