Check out the latest news from the Calgary Homeless Foundation!

In This Issue

• Hannah's Letter
• Upcoming Homecoming Party
• Homeless Awareness Day
• Connectivity Breakfast

• Mock Election
• Fall Clean-Ups
• Housewarming Party with a Twist

 


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We are ending homelessness. Everyday.

On Thursday, November 5, the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) is launching its award winning documentary on discrimination in homelessness, “Do You See Me?” as part of its annual fundraiser. The Homecoming Party is a celebration of the work being done that is changing the face of homelessness, a work that requires constant innovation. We must constantly push for change in areas that we know are stagnant to move forward on our goal of ending homelessness.

Guests will hear from the director himself, Ramin Eshragi-Yazdi of NurFilms, where he will introduce the film and share how the filming, and his interactions with those in the film, changed his perspective of himself and of homelessness. Calgary Police Services (CPS) Deputy Chief Trevor Deroux will speak to the powerful impact this work has had on policing in Calgary and how it has enabled CPS to be a part of the solution to ending homelessness.

Together, we will end homelessness. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015
From 5 to 7 p.m.
Civic on Third
130 - 3 Avenue SE, Calgary

Click here to buy tickets ($250 each*)
Agencies interested in purchasing tickets, please call our office for more information at (403) 718-8537
*A charitable tax receipt will be issued after the event for a portion of the ticket price.

For sponsorship opportunities or ticket information, please contact Ben at (403) 718-8537 or ben@calgaryhomeless.com


Hannah's Letter: A True Act of Kindness

On August 25th, the Calgary Homeless Foundation received a gift from a little girl far beyond her years. She sent us letter, painstakingly crafted in the way of children, with a donation and a touching explanation as to why she chose us.

Having travelled here from Florida to visit our city and the Calgary Stampede with her parents, Hannah described Calgary as a “wonderful place” with the exception of one thing. She was brokenhearted to see all those experiencing homelessness all alone in the streets. “I was so ashamed that I couldn’t help them that I put my head down when I walked by and sometimes I held back tears,” she wrote to us in her letter.

From the sunshine state, Hannah wanted to help bring the warmth of Florida to those living on the streets and has generously donated $101 dollars to the Calgary Homeless Foundation, virtually emptying her piggy bank in hopes of making a difference.

Why $101 you ask?  “The odd sticks out,” Hannah explains in her letter, “the odd people of the world make the difference.”

Hannahs Letter_2

Hannah describes herself as a Floridian that likes to bring the warmth of God to the world. Regardless of what drives this little girl’s generosity, we thank her.

For one so young to acknowledge her own sense of shame in being unable to help those living on the streets is incredible. To then take action is remarkable. We could all learn a lesson from Hannah about moving past our own judgements to simply feel compassion. We could all learn that every small act of kindness makes a difference. There are no rules or quotas on how to lend a hand. Simply that we do.

You can view the other pages of Hannah's letter here and here. If you are like Hannah and looking for ways that you too can make a difference, please contact Sharon deBoer, Director of Development at sharon@calgaryhomeless.com



Connectivity Breakfast 

Great minds think alike… But if we all thought alike there would be no change.

On Tuesday, September 22, over 65 board chairs and CEO’s in the homeless-serving sector participated in a CEO/Chair Connectivity Breakfast hosted by the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) and The Mustard Seed. Rene Collins of the Metis Calgary Family Services graciously opened the event with a blessing,

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The main topic of discussion related to Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness and Calgary’s Homeless-serving System of Care. Attendees brought their innovative ideas, suggestions and potential opportunities to the table.

Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of CHF, spoke about the various plans as well as the true meaning of ‘Ending Homelessness’. She also discussed the similarities between social service agencies and the value of an integrated Homeless-serving System of Care.

Stephen Wile, CEO of The Mustard Seed, added additional value to the presentation by talking about the System of Care in connection to The Mustard Seed.

The Breakfast showcased great minds coming together to work towards a common goal – ending homelessness. It’s no doubt that there is power to create change in a group like this one. After much thoughtful discussion, the attendees agreed that it was clear that communication and collaboration were the key elements to be developed to continue the success of the Plan. 

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As a result of the event, it is safe to say that we are all on the same page, but there is still room to grow. We can all work together on improving the effectiveness of the Plan to reach our end goal. The Connectivity Breakfast was the first time this many great leaders in the sector came together, and there are plans to host more in the future.

For those that attended the Connectivity Breakfast, please note that a report of the discussions will be sent out at the end of October.

Mock Election

On Monday, September 21, we saw an incredible thing. We watched 500 people line up to vote. 

And it wasn’t even a real election.

These are often people whose voices we ignore. They speak to us on the street and we pass by them, barely acknowledging that they’ve spoken.

Photo credit: Colleen Underwood @cbccolleen

Photo credit: Colleen Underwood @cbccolleen

You have no home and therefore no way to register to vote. What riding do you belong to if you live nowhere?

So the Client Action Committee (CAC) of the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) organized a mock election. Ten members of the CAC, all with lived experience of homelessness themselves came up with a way to remove barriers to voting that this community faces.

They built it. And 500 people came.

Designed to simulate the exact process of voting in an election, the mock election was held in four shelters around the city. The Alex, Alpha House, YWCA Mary Dover House and the Calgary Drop In & Rehab Centre each hosted a mock polling station for voting participants.

As for a registered address? The Drop In Centre provided letters of stay; these letters act as one piece of valid identification and also serve as proof of address for each client to be able to register to vote in the Calgary Centre riding.

As reproducing a ballot with candidates prior to an election is illegal, clients instead voted on issues that they deemed most important to them in this federal election. The issues were: affordable housing, mental health, minimum income and harm reduction. They were also given the option to choose “other” and add an issue.

Information on party platforms was provided by the Drop In Centre as candidates will be visiting independently prior to the election. Elections Canada was present at the Drop In Centre to register clients to vote between 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

Elections Canada is placing a polling station in the Drop In Centre on October 19th to give access to those who use its services. This is the first time in Canada that a polling station has been placed in a shelter for a Federal Election.

Overall, 472 clients participated with 60% of them selecting affordable housing as the issue they deemed most important to them in this upcoming federal election.

Fall Clean-ups

This past weekend, an amazing group of volunteers as well as property managers and tenants participated in two fall clean-ups at different CHF property locations.

Despite the snowy weather, the volunteers arrived with smiles on their faces and were eager to help out as much as they could.

Herbs from the community garden and pumpkins from the pumpkin patch were made ready and distributed to those in need.

We are so thankful for all of our wonderful volunteers!

        

Housewarming Party with a Twist -
Giving the Gift of Home

  
Justine and Lee Dowd recently moved back to Calgary to be closer to friends and family. In celebration, the couple hosted a Housewarming Party with a philanthropic twist. In lieu of gifts, the Dowd’s asked their guests to consider giving a donation to the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF). 

The evening of the housewarming, Saturday, September 12 was beautiful- one of the last perfect summer nights before the transition into fall and the effort put into the party was extraordinary. The yard was peppered with colourful umbrellas and cocktail tables; the deck housed talented local artist, Aaron Pollock and his band, and a plethora of food and beverages. A friend of the Dowd’s even constructed a dance floor for the evening, which resulted in guests dancing the night away. People laughed, they danced, and they gave to those in need. It truly was a perfect evening.

We want to thank the Dowd’s for inviting us into their home, and for thinking of those that we serve – Calgary’s most vulnerable population. The thoughtfulness of this gracious couple and their wonderful friends and family resulted over $10,350 being raised!  We sincerely want to thank all of the Dowd’s guests for their generous donations, their insightful comments and their continued support of our mission.
If you are interested in inviting us to your next event, whether it’s a holiday party, Halloween party, or Housewarming party please contact alison@calgaryhomeless.com for more information.

How You Can Help

Your support will make a positive difference.  Everyone deserves a place to call home which is safe, affordable, secure and appropriate. Please help make this a reality for everyone!
Support our mission to end homelessness
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Copyright ©2015 Calgary Homeless Foundation, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
308-925 7 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB  T2P 1A5
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