Calgary Committee to End Homelessness

January 09, 2007 13:01 ET

Calgary Committee to End Homelessness: City Leaders Launch Effort to End Homelessness

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 9, 2007) - Twenty four Calgary corporate, government and community leaders today announced the creation of the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness. The committee has been established to develop a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Calgary, and deliver that plan to Calgarians in the next eighteen months.

"The community has mobilized to put an end to homelessness in our city," said Steve Snyder, TransAlta President and CEO and Chair of the newly formed Calgary Committee to End Homelessness. "We have come together as a community to stand up and say that we can no longer tolerate the homelessness of so many of our fellow Calgarians.

"We're under no illusions about the size or complexity of the issues before us, but what you're seeing today is a cross section of community leaders coming together with a new determination to tackle this growing problem."

The Committee to End Homelessness was born of increasing community concern over Calgary's growing homeless problem. In the biennial count of the homeless in May of this year, there were over 3,400 individuals homeless - a 32 per cent increase from 2004. The problem has been growing for more than decade; homelessness in Calgary has increased over 30 per cent biennially since 1996.

"On behalf of Calgarians, our thanks to Steve Snyder and the other volunteer members of the committee for taking on this challenge and their commitment to our city," said Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier. "Bringing together all sectors of our community, along with all three orders of government, offers an excellent opportunity to develop and implement a long-term strategy for tackling homelessness in Calgary.

"The City of Calgary fully supports this initiative."

"The Alberta government is very supportive of the efforts of the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness and we look forward to working with them," said Ray Danyluk Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "I am confident their efforts will complement the work that will be carried out by the Provincial Housing Task Force, to help meet the need for more affordable housing in Calgary and throughout the Province."

"Homelessness in Calgary, and indeed in many other Canadian cities and towns, is a growing issue," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Regional Minister for Alberta. "Through planning and effective funding partnerships, the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness is an initiative that will help create a solution to homelessness in Calgary, and hopefully become a model for other Canadian centres."

"It's great to see our corporate, community and political leaders stepping up," said Wayne Stewart, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. "The status quo has become untenable and unsustainable.

"I'm especially pleased to see Steve's commitment to bring the key players to the table, to listen to people working on the front lines and to bring some fresh thinking and energy to the issue."

The committee will be building on a planning model developed by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. That model is being successfully implemented in over 230 U.S. cities and counties.

The announcement was made at a morning media conference following the first meeting of the 24-member leadership committee. The committee of senior leaders will be supported by a working committee that will provide research, planning and support for implementation. The working committee will also be tasked with community consultation.

For more information on the 10- year planning model visit www.usich.gov/slocal/index.html.

Contact Information