Market Overview

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: Rise in Calgary's Homeless Population Slowed Down but Being Pressured by Migration


CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2012) -

This document corrects and replaces the press release that was sent today at 14:53 ET.

The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) announced that while the number of people experiencing homelessness rose in an August 2012 point-in-time count, compared with the January 2012 point-in-time count, the trend of homelessness rising on average of 15% per year since 1992 has slowed down. Both point-in-time counts were sponsored by Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP.

The summer point-in-time count also indicated people experiencing homelessness are about 0.32% of the total population, the same percentage as in 2006. This is in large part due to the fact that through the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in Calgary (10 Year Plan), more than 4,000 men, women and children have received housing and support since January 2008.

On August 15, 2012, 3,576 people were experiencing homelessness, compared with 3,190 people on January 18, 2012. This represents a 12.1% rise, with the main increase being in the number of people sleeping outside (from 64 in January to 333 in August). The number of people staying in emergency shelters and short-term housing remained relatively stable.

"It is not unusual that summer point-in-time counts see higher numbers of people sleeping outside," said John Rook, President and CEO of the CHF. "Prior to doing the summer count, we expected emergency shelter and short-term housing numbers would be higher too, because of migration to Calgary and a tight rental market. We were pleasantly surprised to see the numbers were flat."

To view the "Point-in-Time Count of Homeless People in Calgary and Growth Rates, 1992-2012" chart, please visit the following link:

Note: Numbers may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Location of People % of % of
Experiencing Homelessness Jan-12 Total Aug-12 Total % Change
Emergency Shelter 1715 54% 1703 48% -1%
Short-Term Supportive
Housing 1260 39% 1351 38% 7%
System Homeless 151 5% 189 5% 25%
Rough Sleepers 64 2% 333 9% 420%
Total 3190 100% 3576 100% 12.1%

To view the "Homeless Population as a Percent of Total Population" chart, please visit the following link:

The point-in-time count saw emergency shelter use remain relatively flat, compared with the January 2012 count. This is also evident in statistics from Human Services (HS), which indicate that emergency shelter use in Calgary from January to August 2012 was only about 1% higher than during the same period in 2011. However, from June to August 2012, HS data indicated emergency shelter use in Calgary was up about 7%, compared with the same period in 2011. Although there is no specific data to confirm a trend of in-migration, interviews conducted among 84 people sleeping outside during the August point-in-time count saw 17% report that they had been in Calgary for less than one year.

The CHF received an increase in program funding of $5.67 million from HS, as well as $2.00 million from Alberta Health Services to provide housing and support to those with addictions and mental health issues. Agencies applying for this funding will be notified of the successful recipients at the end of November, so programs can commence early in 2013.

"We are very thankful that the province continues to see both the human need and the business case to provide housing and support, compared with individuals staying for prolonged periods in shelters and more expensive institutions," said Rook. "Over the first four years of Calgary's 10 Year Plan, we have evidence it is cheaper and people are better able to work on the issues that led to their homelessness and become more productive citizens from the safety and security of a home."

The CHF is also working with the province and community partners to ensure adequate emergency shelter space is available to accommodate increased demand in coming months. It is estimated 200 to 250 temporary shelter beds will be required during the winter season.

Other significant changes in the August point-in-time count results were an increase in the number of youth and young adults, as well as Aboriginal people experiencing homelessness. The number of youth and young adults (between 13 and 24 years of age) experiencing homelessness went from 276 (9%) in January 2012 to 445 (13%) in August 2012. The number of Aboriginal people experiencing homelessness rose from 509 (16%) in January to 753 (21%) in August.

"The rise in the number of youth and Aboriginal people who are homeless in Calgary is concerning," said Rook. "We know homeless youth are more vulnerable to violence, abuse and addiction and Aboriginal people are over-represented given they are only two per cent of the general population."

Note: Numbers may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Age Distribution Ethnicity Distribution
---------------------------------- ------------------------------------
5 or younger 140 4% Caucasian 2009 56%
---------------------------------- ------------------------------------
6 to 12 135 4% Aboriginal 753 21%
---------------------------------- ------------------------------------
13 to 17 127 4% Other 553 15%
---------------------------------- ------------------------------------
18 to 24 318 9% Unknown Ethnicity 112 3%
---------------------------------- ------------------------------------
25 to 44 1398 39% No Response 149 4%
---------------------------------- ------------------------------------
45 to 64 1194 33% Total 3576 100%
---------------------------------- ------------------------------------
65 or older 106 3%
Unknown Age 11 0.3%
Declined to answer 147 4%
Total 3576 100%

Point-in-time counts provide a snapshot of the homeless situation in Calgary by counting the number of people experiencing homelessness in Calgary over a three-hour period. A number of community partners and more than 200 volunteers helped with this tremendous effort.

Research shows these counts should be done during different times in the year to show the seasonal differences in homelessness. While there are few, if any, other cities in Canada that do seasonal counts, gathering and analyzing this information is important as part of the 10 Year Plan. A detailed report for the August 2012 count will be available later in the year. A detailed report from the January 2012 count is at

There are two parts to counts. First, people who sleep outside (rough sleepers) were counted in a rigorous and comprehensive process involving volunteers and a number of community partners, which are listed at the end of this release. Not only were these individuals counted, but they were also offered help. Second, facilities providing emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness shared their numbers for the point-in-time count. As well, the count included transitional housing (temporary accommodations), the Remand Centre, Alberta Health Services' acute care facilities, police processing units and the Calgary Young Offender Centre. Participating emergency shelters, short-term supportive housing and community partners are listed at the end of this release.

The CHF leads the implementation of Calgary's 10 Year Plan in partnership with the many homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness once and for all. For more information, visit


Calgary Transit
Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services
Calgary Parking Authority
University of Calgary campus security
Calgary Stampede Authority
Alberta Health Services
Calgary Police Services
Canadian Pacific Railway
SAIT campus security
Mount Royal University campus security
Fish Creek Park wardens


Alpha House Calgary
Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society
Boys & Girls Club of Calgary
Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre
Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter
Children's Cottage Society
Inn from the Cold
The Mustard Seed
The Salvation Army - Alberta & Northern Territories
Wood's Homes
YWCA of Calgary


Alpha House Calgary
Boys & Girls Club of Calgary
Brenda Strafford Foundation
Calgary Alternative Support Services
Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
Calgary Dream Centre
Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre
Calgary John Howard Society
Discovery House
Fresh Start Recovery
Highbanks Society
Kerby Centre
Keys to Recovery
McMan Youth Family and Community Services Association
Recovery Acres Society
Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary
Simon House Residence Society
Sonshine Society of Christian Community Services
Sunrise Native Addictions Services Society
The Salvation Army - Alberta & Northern Territories
Victory Foundation
Wood's Homes
Youville Residence Society of Calgary
YWCA of Calgary

Calgary Homeless Foundation
Andrea Ranson
VP Communications
403 718 8539

View Comments and Join the Discussion!