21 Jun Homelessness in Calgary
In April 2017, the Alberta government pledged $18 million towards affordable housing projects in Calgary. This much-needed Housing First approach offers affordable, permanent housing for homeless and vulnerable individuals and families as well as social support to avoid reverting to homelessness.
Shockingly, over 3000 Calgarians are homeless on any given night. According to the Resolve campaign, the cost of homelessness per person is $55,000. The cost to provide housing for homeless through a Housing First program is $21,000 per person, or collectively, $63 million a year. By creating comprehensive housing programs and spending the initial funds to provide housing, this means governments, taxpayers and social services could save $34,000 per person or over $100 million a year.
Providing affordable housing opportunities for the more vulnerable Calgarians makes sense, and not only financially. Most importantly, it improves the overall quality of life, offers safer living conditions for homeless men, women and children, and allows them a chance at a successful future.