New Warming Space, DOAP Team Expanded To Help Homeless Calgarians – Calgary | The Canadian News

As of Monday night, there were still more than 100 spaces for people to stay at the Calgary Drop-In Center to escape the extremely cold temperatures. But some homeless Calgarians are wary of the existing shelter system or do not want to separate from a partner or pet.

“We need real indoor heating centers. We need tents installed that have a heater in them. That’s the kind of thing we need. We need places where the homeless can be safe and not be judged, ”said Nigel Kirk, member of the Client Action Committee.

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Some homeless advocates like Kirk have proposed warming centers, but according to agencies that provide overnight shelter, they are not a long-term solution.

“We don’t think a warming center goes far enough. Everything we do should focus on the bottom line of getting people to stay, ”said Calgary Drop-In Center Executive Director Sandra Clarkson.

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In mid-December, Clarkson said the Drop-In Center opened the Bridge Program funded with provincial money. A low barrier space with capacity for 40 people to warm up, get clothes and food, and start building relationships with shelter staff.

“As word of mouth continues to grow and signage is created, more people will come and I am pleased to say that we have already hosted one person directly from the program in their own home,” Clarkson said.

“That is the ultimate goal: to help people end their experience of homelessness.

“Meeting your immediate needs in the moment is, of course, important, but it is not enough.”

Clarkson said they plan to have it open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Earlier this month, the Calgary City Council approved $ 750,000 in funding for the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) to coordinate a community response to cold weather.

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The funds will go toward increasing easily accessible spaces that provide warmth and basic needs, as well as addressing barriers that prevent some homeless Calgarians from accessing shelters.

Some money has already gone toward expanding the Center’s Outreach Addiction Association, commonly known as the DOAP Team, according to the CHF.

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“The Calgary Homeless Foundation will have an application process starting in January where people can apply, but we haven’t waited. The DOAP team has already expanded their services, ”said CHF President and CEO Patricia Jones.

“I think the DOAP team are some of our unsung heroes in our community.

“They have teams that target poor sleepers and they have partnerships with police and ordinance services.”

Jones added that he has already begun speaking with organizations interested in providing warm-up sites.

“We are also talking to them about working together and collaborating even more than they already do so that we not only provide people with warmth but also access to services,” Jones said.

City of Calgary (@cityofcalgary)
December 27, 2021, 3:04 pm

During this extreme cold, the City’s Animal Services Center will accept pets from homeless owners who need them for up to 30 days. The shelter is open and has capacity. For hours, visit

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