CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Oct. 6, 2016) - Employees and donors to Calgary's cause to end homelessness were celebrated today at the 8th Annual Arthur R. Smith Awards ceremony. This celebration was for those who have taken up our city's ultimate call to action: helping those experiencing homelessness; our most vulnerable Calgarians.
The awards, presented by Trevor Daroux, Deputy Chief of the Calgary Police Service and Betty Ann Smith, honourary patron of the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) and wife of the late Arthur R. Smith, celebrated the front-line staff and volunteers who provide housing and support to those at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our city. Today's winners were chosen because they reflect Arthur's compassion and determination to help all his neighbours.
"Today's awards are important because they recognize all of the work that is done behind the scenes to help people experiencing homelessness in our city," says Diana Krecsy, President & CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. "As a community we've housed over 8,000 people since 2008; today we get to celebrate a few of the people who have made that possible."
This year, not only were awards presented to front-line difference makers, but to donors who have contributed to CHF. Despite these tough economic times, these individuals and corporations continue to do their part to ensure Calgary continues to meet its vision of ending homelessness.
The three awards presented to people on the front-lines are the Volunteer Award, the Front-Line Employee Award and the Front-Line Team Award.
KAIROS, the winner of the Volunteer Award, was instrumental in paying off the $1.5 million mortgage for Acadia Place, spending thousands of hours working alongside CUPS staff to help set up households as families and individuals moved in.
Devon Oulette, a member of the Calgary Police Service since 2010, is the recipient of the Front-Line Employee Award for his work on the Vulnerable Persons Unit, working hand-in-hand with service providers like Alpha House to help keep individuals successfully housed. On occasion, Devon has been known to play ping-pong with clients at the Pathways to Housing office.
The Community Treatment Order team, awarded the Front-Line Team Award, helps service providers work with individuals living with complex mental illnesses who are also experiencing homelessness. This team has developed a strong partnership with Pathways to Housing, increasing the stability of their clients in housing.
The Arthur R. Smith Awards were created in the name of the Calgary Homeless Foundation's late founder as a way to recognize and honour innovative, committed and caring front-line employees and volunteers within the homeless-serving sector. A small committee consisting of three CHF Board Members and one staff member reviewed and selected the honourees from community nominations.
The Calgary Homeless Foundation is a catalyst and enabler for Systems and Service Agencies to optimize client success. CHF focuses on four strategic pillars of work; Research and Development, Community Mobilization, Funder of Outcomes and Impact, and Public and Political Will. CHF addresses gaps and identifies best practices to improve the system of care. Through mobilization of collective impact, CHF is committed to moving forward in partnership with the many homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in Calgary. For more information, visit calgaryhomeless.com.