Today, Minister of Community and Social Services, Irfan Sabir, along with members of Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care and its partners, celebrated the release of the Calgary Recovery Services Task Force Final Report and Recommendations. Held at Venue 1008 where the Task Force first began meeting in 2015, the event was attended by over 100 individuals including those with lived experience of homelessness, front-line staff, medical providers and agency executives.
The Report highlights findings of a research study conducted by Dr. Katrina Milaney and the Cummings School of Medicine of 300 chronically homeless Calgarians. Based on Dr. Milaney’s research, and input from stakeholders across the homeless-serving sector and related service providers, the Report provides Seven Key Recommendations which, when implemented, will provide for better health outcomes of the approximately 900 individuals identified as chronically homeless in Calgary.
The Task Force is comprised of 26 organizations including system planners, homeless-serving sector front-line agencies, large systems players such as Health, Justice and Child Welfare and other public service providers working collaboratively towards creating a better more coordinated and integrated response to address the complex health, housing, and case management needs of chronically homeless Calgarians.
Kevin McNichol, Vice President of Strategy at CHF and a Task Force participant says what is most impressive is, “The collaboration and conversation that has triggered change in the community. It was exciting to see the willingness of everyone to come to the table to seek solutions for those experiencing homelessness. The Report and the event today is an affirmation of our intention to make social change possible in Calgary.”
We are committed to working collaboratively with the Task Force working groups to further develop strategies and plans to implement the seven key recommendations in the report. To read the full report click here.
SEVEN KEY RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. Better Access to Health Services on Front Lines
Access to health services should be available through the entire homeless system of care including shelter, supportive housing, and mobile outreach.
2. Case Management During Transition to Housing
Ensure access to intensive case management and health supports as homeless Calgarians transition into supportive housing.
3. Recognize Homeless Calgarians’ Choice in Recovery Services
Integrate harm reduction approaches into the continuum of recovery services in recognition of homeless Calgarians’ choice.
4. Responsive Approaches for Indigenous Populations
Develop housing and health approaches that are responsive to homeless Indigenous populations.
5. Open Communication within Homelessness Sector
Ensure open communication and access to information amongst organizations and agencies serving homeless Calgarians.
6. Specialized Responses for Women and Children
Develop specialized responses for homeless women and children.
7. Advance Governance Structure
Advance the development of a steering committee/governance structure to provide leadership and oversight for moving forward.