Calgarians have a can do attitude, and we can end homelessness together! On March 3rd, 2015, 450 people representing more than 150 agencies and organizations came together to hear, talk about and explore how we can do our best, together, to end homelessness. We can do this. We will always hold the vision, together. When we work together, everything is possible.
At the launch of Calgary’s Updated Plan to End Homelessness, we shared the ‘what’ that community identified as essential to ending homelessness. These comments came from a year and a half of consultations and over 800 comments from community on what they knew needed to be done.
Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the backbone agency supporting and facilitating the Plan with the community as it continues to move forward and realize its vision, stated in her review of how we got to this moment today:
“In 2008 we believed in the vision. In 2011 we understood a lot more about homelessness in Calgary than we had when we began. Today, we know. We know what’s working and what’s not. And we know we have to do this together, as a community.”
In 2008 (when the Plan was launched) there wasn’t the coordination or information sharing between agencies that we see today. In fact, there was no shared database of who’s who in the system of care, who was receiving service from what agency and where the duplications existed. Today, there is a common information system, the Homeless Management Information System. There is coordination and collaboration throughout the system of care including Coordinated Access and Assessment.
In 2011, a shift occurred toward profound recognition of the complexities of homelessness and the need for supports when housing someone directly from the streets. This gave rise to a deeper understanding of what it was going to take to get the job done.
In 2015, everyone knows it can be done — as long as we work together. As long as we share the vision. As long as we each do our part to make it happen. Not just those working in the sector, but every Calgarian along with government on all levels, faith groups, community associations, individual Calgarians. Everyone.
There are hundreds of ways each of us can contribute. Whether we live in Calgary or another city somewhere in Canada or anywhere in the world, we can, and we must, do whatever it takes to ensure we remove the ‘less’ out of ‘homeless’ so that everyone can find their way home.
In launching the updated Plan, we embedded our collective need to understand what home means to each of us at the centre of our work. We can make a collective impact in the community if we work together.
Be part of ending homelessness in Calgary. Click here to see how you can contribute and join the movement.
Download copies of the presentations here.Community Summit Presentation - March 3, 2015