Calgary Homeless Foundation

Calgary Homeless Foundation

September 06, 2011 16:46 ET

Agencies To House and Support 500 People Experiencing Long-Term and Repeated Homelessness Over 12 Months

An Update on the First Quarter of Fiscal 2011/12 (April 1 - June 30, 2011)

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 6, 2011) - In the first quarter, agencies implementing Calgary's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness provided housing and support to 341 people, including 152 individuals who were chronic and episodically homeless. At the same time, first quarter data shows that in some areas the pace of housing is slowing as programs reach capacity.

"For the first time since the 10 Year Plan was launched in January 2008, our housing tempo is slowing slightly as programs begin to reach capacity," said Tim Richter, Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) President and CEO. "We expect the pace to pick up again through the fall and winter of 2011 as new housing investments are being made."

In early September, the CHF will release three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to add housing capacity. These RFPs will include: $3 million in provincial homelessness funding targeting chronic and episodically homeless individuals living in emergency shelters, approximately $600,000 from the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) to begin implementation of Calgary's Plan to End Youth Homelessness, and $1 million in HPS capital funding to support new affordable housing or capital infrastructure.

Table 1

First Quarter (April 1 to June 30) First Quarter 2011/12 First Quarter 2010/11 Since April 1, 2010 Since January 20081
Number of people housed (received affordable housing) 334 341 1,830 2,994
Number of people served(assisted within an emergency shelter or provided with support services in CHF funded programs) 586 880 9,979

Table 22,3

Priority populations - Q1 progress4 Housed Served
2011/12 2010/11 2011/12 2010/11
Chronic and episodically homeless5 152 205 419 175
Families with children 74 57 139 212
Youth (young people up to age 24) 34 34 102 98
Aboriginal Peoples6 67 75 269 215
  1. Represents total since January 2008, when 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in Calgary was implemented.
  2. Table 2 shows distribution of services by priority population. Table 2 totals do not add to Table 1 totals because people can be in more than one category.
  3. Women are a priority population in the updated 10 Year Plan. Women receiving housing and services are currently not tracked separately by agencies, but data will be available with implementation of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
  4. Programs that provide services that do not include housing are under 'Served.' Programs that provide housing are under 'Housed.'
  5. The number for 'Housed' and 'Served' chronic and episodically homeless may have a level of inaccuracy due to different definitions for the terms 'chronic' and 'episodic.' The implementation of the HMIS will significantly improve the quality of data received and reported.
  6. The Aboriginal Peoples numbers only include adults except in the case of NeighbourLink data, which includes children and adults.

Table 3

Key deliverables Q1 progress (qualitative)
House and support 500 chronically and episodically homeless individuals CHF-funded programs delivered services that rehoused 152 people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness.
Acquire 175 to 230 permanent supportive and affordable housing units The CHF purchased 15 units of affordable housing in Cliff Bungalow, with another potential 93 units under development.
Develop and implement a "system planning framework" to guide program, capital and operating investments, and performance expectations CHF brought together key agencies and public systems stakeholders to begin developing and implementing a coordinated homeless-serving system. A System Planning Advisory Committee was established and there was agreement on program definitions.
Fundraise for operations and launch capital campaign NOVA Chemicals committed $50,000 per year over four years to the Homeless Information Management System (HMIS). A study on public response to a collaborative capital campaign was completed.

Table 4

10 Year Plan Commitments 2011/12 Business Plan Goal Q1 Progress
House and support 1,500 chronic and episodically homeless people by 2014 House and support 500 chronically and episodically homeless individuals CHF-funded programs housed 152 people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness.
Provide access to housing and support options appropriate to the needs of all individuals engaging in rough sleeping (sleeping outside) by December 2014 Enumerate rough sleeping population and develop housing and support for this population A city-wide count of those sleeping outside will be conducted in December 2011.
Eliminate 85% of emergency shelter beds by 2018 (a 1,700 bed reduction), reducing the minimum of 600 beds by 2014 Reduce 150 emergency shelter beds Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA), the Salvation Army and CHF worked together to determine it was time to close131 emergency shelter spaces and 58 transitional spaces at the Booth Centre. The 131 emergency shelter beds were closed on April 30, 2011. During June 2011, HUA-funded shelters in Calgary reported stabilized occupancy levels compared with the same period in 2010. The month showed decreased rate of use (-7.8% or 157 people) compared with June 2010.
Reduce the average length of stay in emergency shelters to seven days by January 20187 Reduce year-over-year length of stay in family emergency shelters by 10% The CHF is pursuing implementation of HMIS in emergency shelters in Calgary to determine an accurate benchmark and gauge progress to reduce length of stay.
Reduce the average length of stay in emergency shelters to seven days by January 20187 Establish benchmark for length of stay in the singles emergency shelter system Both of Calgary's emergency family shelters are implementing HMIS. Implementation will determine an accurate benchmark and gauge progress to reduce length of stay.
  1. The objective of the local and provincial 10 Year Plans is to reduce the length of stay in emergency shelters. HUA has the responsibility and contractual relationship with emergency shelters to impact achievement of this objective.


  • Provincial research agenda launched
  • Agreements with agencies aligned to updated 10 Year Plan and the System Planning Framework
  • HMIS implemented with 20 agencies
  • A property purchased in Cliff Bungalow


Research update

The CHF is working on ways to effectively engage rough sleepers (those sleeping outside) so they can receive housing and supports. Outreach workers will interview rough sleepers in order to improve outreach practices.

The CHF and the University of Calgary's Faculty of Social Work are advancing the Homelessness Asset & Risk Tool. More than 800 individuals are being surveyed to test the Tool's reliability for predicting and preventing homelessness. Over the following two years, follow up interviews will determine if interventions effectively prevented their homelessness.

The Coordinated Homeless Family System group engaged the CHF to do a literature review of best practices for supporting families with complex needs. Findings from this study showed a lack of rigorous evaluative data on family programs. The research that does exist suggests families need a more holistic and comprehensive model of support to sustainably end their homelessness.

The Interagency Sector partnered with the CHF, Alberta Employment and Immigration, and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped to develop a supportive employment model for episodically and chronically homeless men. A literature review and interviews with key stakeholders will guide a pilot program to support these men as they find housing and employment.

Alberta's Research Consortium, represented by the CHF for Calgary and Red Deer, developed and launched a provincial research agenda to encourage Albertan researchers to generate research for Alberta communities and to advance the provincial 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.

Program update

About 40 agreements with funded agencies were renewed in line with the updated 10 Year Plan and the System Planning Framework. Analysis of year-end financial reports and program evaluations were considered in contract renewals and new funding commitments. The CHF worked with HUA to prepare the Service Delivery Plan, which allocates provincial program funding to Calgary service providers.

HUA conducted an audit of CHF's contract management and financial oversight practices. The CHF is the first of the seven Alberta cities to undergo this review. The initial assessment was encouraging, with full results to be released in the second quarter.

The CHF will launch a Request for Proposal (RFP) for $3.0 million in HUA funding focused on rehousing and support for those experiencing chronic homelessness. Investment in this population will help relieve pressure on emergency shelters and address the needs of those with complex barriers. The RFP will be launched in September and at least one program will be specific to Aboriginal Peoples. More details will be available in the second quarter.

HUA has worked with the homeless-serving, non-profit agencies across Alberta, recognizing that many clients who go through Housing First programs could move to more independent housing with some rent support. This would also permit current clients to move on so there was room for new intakes.

The CHF will strengthen its program performance, quality assurance and financial monitoring by developing monitoring tools. These tools will be used during annual program reviews starting in September.

Case Management Accreditation for funded programs is proceeding. Agencies commented on draft standards of practice during the quarter. This will lead to implementation by the CHF and the Canadian Accreditation Council in September.

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) update

HMIS was launched during the quarter, with 20 agencies completing training covering about 60 programs and 250 employees. Most agencies are live on the system. A soft launch took place at the Project Homeless Connect event in May, with one agency able to collect data.

An HUA audit was conducted on the software, policies and standard operating procedures, privacy/security, documentation process and CHF internal information technology. The audit was successful and CHF obtained HUA approval that the Calgary HMIS is compliant with FOIP and meets HUA grant funding agreement expectations.

A Privacy Impact Assessment was accepted by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. This means the CHF has active measures in place to ensure the protection of personal information further to the requirements of the law.


During the first quarter, the CHF purchased one property in Cliff Bungalow. The property has 15 one-bedroom apartments for very low-income singles. The total project cost (including renovations) was $2.26 million, with $1.59 million provided by the Government of Alberta.

At the end of the first quarter, the CHF had a housing portfolio consisting of 274 units. The CHF has provincial grant funding (HUA and Persons with Developmental Disabilities) for an additional 216 units for a total of 490 units.

CHF continued to work on property renovations and upgrades. Fire safety and security features were installed, including addressable fire panels, key fobs, inside and outside cameras, and new intercom systems. Renovation projects at the buildings in Bankview, Bridgeland and Bowness are almost complete. Renovations began at recently acquired properties in the neighbourhoods of Capitol Hill and Cliff Bungalow. At the building in Acadia where a pipe burst, renovation of those units damaged by water is expected to be complete by October 2011.

Effective vacancies at properties remain near 0%, as agencies move in tenants as units are ready for occupancy. Forty units undergoing renovations are ready for occupancy, with property managers and agencies moving in tenants.

Communications and fund development

Volunteers from KAIROS Calgary and Westside Kings Church helped do a spring cleaning around the Acadia and Bowness properties, respectively. Gardening and outdoor building maintenance helped spruce the buildings up for the summer.

Approximately 625 Calgarians at risk of or experiencing homelessness received services and supports from more than 40 agencies at the 12th Project Homeless Connect (PHC) in May. To date, more than 9,000 individuals have attended PHCs. The CHF is grateful to Burnett Duckworth & Palmer LLP for their financial support and 125 volunteers for helping out during the day. The next PHC will be held on November 19, 2011.

The CHF held its annual general meeting on June 23, with Tim Richter cautioning that an economic boom in Calgary could put pressure on the homeless-serving system. David Bissett, Gary Nissen, Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer LLP, and First Calgary Financial were recognized for their generous support.

The CHF is committed to transparency and accountability. To this end, the CHF published a Report to the Community and Financial Report. The Financial Report includes a complete Management's Discussion and Analysis, financial statements and notes. The CHF also published its Business Plan for fiscal 2011/12 during the quarter. Quarterly reports, such as this, will be published to report progress against the goals in the Business Plan.


At the annual general meeting, the following individuals were elected to the Board of Directors: Cameron Bailey (McKinsey & Company Canada); Sharon Carry (Bow Valley College); Stephen Clark (Commercial West Canadian Pipelines); George Coppus (Dynawise Inc.); Trevor Daroux (Calgary Police Services); Barry Davidson (Community Life Improvement Council); Druh Farrell (City of Calgary); Stephanie Felesky (Community Volunteer); Dave Gregory (Brand Insights Group); Tim Hearn (Imperial Oil Ltd. – retired); Bishop Fred Henry (Catholic Diocese of Calgary); Craig Hill (Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP); Tom Jackson (Dreamcatcher Housing Ltd.); Sam Kolias (Boardwalk REIT); Bernadette Majdell (AgeCare Communities); Anne Maxwell (Imagine Energy Inc.); David McIlveen (Boardwalk REIT); Alan Norris (Carma Developers LP); Brian O'Leary (Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP – retired); Ruth Ramsden-Wood (United Way Calgary and Area); Amal Remu (Public Health Agency of Canada); Lee Richardson (Government of Canada); Darcy Verhun (Conroy Ross Partners Ltd.); Len Webber (Government of Alberta); and Robin Wortman (Barber Lucia Productions Ltd.). Betty Thompson (Lo Porter Hetu) retired from the Board of Directors. The CHF appreciates her guidance and stewardship.


Quarter ended June 30 ($) 2011/12 2010/11
Operating 806,868 1,132,179
Project 3,367,108 6,755,611
Total revenues 4,173,977 7,887,790
Operating 1,158,596 980,071
Project 3,119,612 4,275,601
Total expenses 4,278,208 5,255,671
Excess (deficiency) of revenues over expenses (104,231 ) 2,632,119

Cash decreased $3.15 million during the first quarter ending June 30, 2011, compared with a decrease of $5.14 million in the same quarter in 2010 due to the timing of acquiring real property for affordable housing. Cash decreased $3.15 million during the first quarter ending June 30, 2011, compared with a decrease of $6.79 million in the prior quarter. The balance was higher in the prior quarter due to the acquisition of the Kingsland property in January 2011. Cash balances in the first quarter ending June 30, 2011 were $137,000 lower compared with the same quarter in 2010 due to timing of project payments and acquisition of real property. Cash balances in the first quarter ending June 30, 2011 were $3.15 million lower compared with the prior quarter due to payments made for CHF operations and project payments from funds received in the prior fiscal year.

Revenues generated during the first quarter ending June 30, 2011 decreased compared with the same quarter in fiscal 2010 due to receipt of Provincial funding in the first quarter ending June 30, 2010 to support the acquisition of the Bankview property. Revenues generated during the first quarter ending June 30, 2011 decreased $5.27 million compared with the prior quarter due to the receipt of Provincial funds in the prior quarter to support the purchase of the Kingsland property. Expenses during the first quarter ending June 30, 2011 decreased $978,000 compared with the same quarter in 2010 due to timing of project payments offset by higher operating costs of real property for affordable housing due to more operated units. Expenses during the first quarter ending June 30, 2011 decreased compared with the prior quarter due to timing of project disbursements.

In the first quarter ending June 30, 2011, operating activities used $1.01 million of cash for disbursement of project funds and standard CHF operations. In the same quarter, investing activities used $1.9 million due to the acquisition of the Cliff Bungalow property. Financing activities during the same period used $570,000 due to the repayment of line of credit amounts and standard mortgage principle payments, offset by a new draw on the line of credit. This compares with the first quarter ending June 30, 2010, when operating activities were $757,000, investing activities used $7.05 million and financing activities generated $1.15 million.

The Calgary Homeless Foundation leads the implementation of Calgary's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Issued in January 2008, Calgary's 10 Year Plan was created by the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness, a community-based, multi-stakeholder, leadership group who issued the Plan and selected the CHF to implement the Plan. The CHF is moving forward on Calgary's 10 Year Plan in partnership with the many homeless serving agencies, the private sector, our government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in Calgary once and for all. Calgarians wishing to contribute by making donations or volunteering are encouraged to visit the CHF website at

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