Table of contents

Overview

The Coordinated Community Response to Homelessness Task Force was established to find innovative ways to end recurring homelessness in our province and find long-term solutions to help those in need.

The task force members brought together a range of experience, expertise and interest in dealing with the wide array of issues related to homelessness.

The pandemic increased the need for services to people experiencing homelessness, especially for those with complex needs. It is important we continue to look for better ways to serve and support Alberta’s vulnerable populations with a measured and consistent approach developed by experts and community leaders.

Timeline

  • Open

  • Results under review

  • Completed

Who is listening

Ministry of Community and Social Services

Input received

In early 2022, the task force engaged with stakeholders and experts representing various parts of communities from across Alberta.

The perspectives of these stakeholders and experts helped inform the development of the Coordinated Community Response to Homelessness Task Force report, which was submitted to government in June 2022. It highlighted that while Alberta is on the right path, more targeted and enhanced measures are needed to better address this complex issue.

On October 1, 2022, government released the Recovery oriented housing model: report of the Coordinated Community Response to Homelessness Task Force. The task force report focuses on 5 areas:

  • Ensuring the safety of clients, shelter workers, businesses and communities.
  • Coordinating discharge plans to help ensure individuals released from hospitals or correctional facilities have a safe place to stay.
  • Improving outreach supports to people in encampments.
  • Providing timely access to health supports, mental health services and addictions treatment, and other social services like income support. 
  • Looking at expanding the range of housing solutions.

 

Outcomes

Recommendations from the task force helped inform government's Action Plan on Homelessness, which includes several immediate actions we are taking:

  • Expanding the number of shelter spaces for the winter months in priority communities like Edmonton, Wetaskiwin and Lethbridge, where there is urgent need.
  • Providing $2 million in funding for additional shelter spaces in rural communities where there is urgent and unmet need.
  • Moving all provincially funded shelters to 24-7 access to make sure support is available, day or night.
  • Piloting a Service Hub model at shelters to connect clients directly with supports and services, such as recovery, housing and emergency financial support.
  • Equalizing funding between community-based organizations in Edmonton and Calgary.
  • Improving data collection and reporting to support innovation, inform decision-making and better understand homelessness.

Mandate

The task force:

  • looked at how communities are impacted by homelessness
  • conducted a thorough review of access to services, including shelter, food, financial assistance, health and recovery supports
  • developed a coordinated and community-based model that responds to the individual and complex needs of vulnerable Albertans

Task force members

The task force reflected a range of experience and expertise from across the province, and included representatives from civil societies, academics and the private sector:

  • Patricia Jones, co-chair, Calgary Homeless Foundation
  • Dale McFee, co-chair, Edmonton Police Services
  • Sandra Clarkson, Calgary Drop-In Centre (DI)
  • Andre Corbould, City of Edmonton
  • Holly Mah, Chinatown and Area Business Association
  • Tricia Smith, Boyle McCauley Health Centre
  • Kathy Christiansen, Alpha House
  • Dave Jackson, Lealta Building Supplies
  • Jordan Reiniger, Boyle Street Community Services
  • Cheryl Whiskeyjack, Bent Arrow
  • Carol Adair, University of Calgary
  • Earl Thiessen, Oxford House
  • Susan McGee, Homeward Trust
  • Bruce Reith, Hope Mission
  • Louis Hugo Francescutti, University of Alberta
  • Michelle White-Wilsdon, Enoch Cree Nation
  • Morgan Reid, Indigenous Relations Canada
  • Kris Johnson, Infrastructure Canada

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