Information | Rezoning for Housing

Public hearing on April 22, 2024. Proposed rezoning will support more housing options in all communities.

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Supporting Calgarians experiencing homelessness

Supporting Calgarians experiencing homelessness

Housing is a fundamental human right, essential for individuals to live with dignity and security. It serves as the cornerstone for accessing other basic needs such as healthcare, education, and employment.

Those experiencing homelessness face multifaceted challenges, including but not limited to economic inequality, mental health issues, substance abuse, systemic discrimination, and insufficient access to social services and adequate affordable housing.  

Addressing homelessness necessitates holistic approaches that prioritize affordable housing, social support systems, mental health services, and policies aimed at combating systemic injustices. Only through concerted efforts can we strive towards realizing the basic human right to adequate housing for all.

Encampments


We know the reasons individuals choose not to attend shelters are complex. When approaching encampments, our teams try to balance compassion, dignity and safety for those experiencing homelessness with the community's safety.

​The City has a unique community peace officer team called the Encampment team, which responds to homeless encampments; the team has created a unique working model that focuses on creating positive working relationships and open communication channels with numerous social agencies and businesses that work to support vulnerable populations.

If you encounter an encampment:

  • Call 311 to report it.
  • Do not enter the camp.
  • If you believe someone’s safety is in jeopardy, or if you see a violent or criminal situation occurring, call 9-1-1.

Visit Encampments (calgary.ca) for more information.

How you can help

If you see someone who needs help, you can call the HELP Team (Human Centred Engagement Liaison and Partnership) at 403-998-7388.

If someone is in serious distress or non-responsive, call 9-1-1.

Consider donating to emergency shelters and outreach organizations and groups. Calgarians are encouraged to check these organizations’ social media to see what is needed and how to donate.

Examples: 

Shelter capacity


Emergency shelters in Alberta receive funding and oversight from the Government of Alberta. There are approximately 2000 emergency shelter spaces in Calgary and The City works cooperatively with the homeless-serving sector to help more people exit homelessness by rapidly connecting them with housing.

To see capacity and utilization rates in Alberta emergency shelters (including Calgary) visit:

To find a shelter visit:
 

Funding


The City supports the work of Calgary’s homeless-serving sector by providing over $6 million in funding to various social agencies for programs that prevent people from falling into crisis and to support those experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. A few examples include: 

  • The Calgary Homeless Foundation receives funding for the Coordinated Community Extreme Weather Response. The bulk of City funding is spent on increasing accessible warming spaces in the winter, by building capacity with existing and well-established spaces within the Homeless Serving System of Care. 
  • Alpha House receives funding for their Downtown Ambassador Program and their HELP (Human-centered Engagement Liaison and Partnership) team program to o provide a trauma-informed, culturally aware, and timely service that reaches individuals struggling with substance use at the street level.
  • Community Health Centre - The Alex receives funding for programs that support mental and physical health and outreach to vulnerable and street-involved individuals. 
  • The Fear is Not Love Society receives funding for programs to support victims of domestic violence. City funds are used for counselling, crisis supports, and other wraparound services.
  • The Mustard Seed receives funding to serve people experiencing homelessness with the supports they need to address mental health issues and overcome addictions.

To see details about all funded programs, visit: Prevention funding (calgary.ca).

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