COVID-19 Update: Shelter Capacity
October 23, 2020
As the city’s largest provider of low-barrier shelter beds, we have received many great questions about our capacity this winter. To begin, we want to acknowledge how lucky we are to live in a community where all of its members care about one another’s wellbeing.
Alongside many, many people across the homeless-serving sector and beyond, we are doing everything we can to keep our community’s most vulnerable people safe from COVID-19 and the cold weather.
Though we are hopeful we will find additional satellite shelter space, we have not yet finalized our negotiations.
Since June, we have been working with many stakeholders including the City of Calgary and the Government of Alberta. In the past few months, DI staff have toured dozens of properties to date, from retail spaces to hotels. Though having a space is important, it is far more important that we find the right space that is safe, humane and meets our needs.
We are looking for a space that has or can be renovated to have bathrooms, showers, laundry, and enough physical space to accommodate physical distancing for sleeping, meals, and daytime activities. As good stewards of precious funding, resources, and donations, we are also challenged to work within our financial constraints.
This is not an easy task, but we are part of a resilient and mighty sector, and we will continue to work alongside the many stakeholders involved to find a solution for people experiencing homelessness this winter.
This week, Calgary Drop-In Centre Executive Director Sandra Clarkson spoke to the Calgary Herald and said:
“Wherever we end up with this overflow shelter site, I am hopeful that the surrounding community will recognize that all people deserve a safe and warm shelter through the winter. At this time, during the pandemic, we all should keep an open mind and a warm heart as our community’s homeless population faces impossible decisions, life-and-death realities, more than ever before.”
Thank you for your continued kindness and support, Calgary. If you have a lead on a potential building, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Overflow Shelter”.
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