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RESOLVE Campaign — interview with Executive Director, Sheryl Barlage

Posted April 1st, 2015
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Getting nine social service agencies to collaborate on a capital campaign is no easy task. Yet, that’s exactly what the RESOLVE Campaign has achieved. Thanks in part to visionary Calgarians such as RESOLVE Chair, Alan Norris, who along with a Steering Committee of philanthropic Calgarians is leading the Campaign and lending their brilliance to make it happen, and the agency CEOs and staff who have rallied around the shared vision of raising funds to ensure 3,000 vulnerable and homeless Calgarians have a home, RESOLVE is making a difference.

RESOLVE is a unique collaboration of nine Partner agencies raising $120 million to build affordable and supported rental housing for 3,000 vulnerable and homeless Calgarians. Recently, Sharon deBoer, Director of Development at CHF sat down with RESOLVE Executive Director, Sheryl Barlage to talk about the campaign.

Here’s what Sheryl had to say:

Q.        What has been the biggest highlight of the RESOLVE campaign to date?

Proving that collaboration can work. Our Partners and volunteers are doing amazing work in our city – they are enthusiastic, passionate and committed to helping Calgary’s most vulnerable. Having the opportunity to work with nine respected and visionary agencies, and 39 influential leaders in the community is inspiring. It is definitely a privilege to be a part of the Campaign.

Q.         What are you most excited about in 2015?

While we’re still in the quiet phase of the fundraising, I’m looking forward to taking RESOLVE to new levels in 2015.  So far, we’ve raised enough money to provide 915 vulnerable Calgarians with keys to have a safe place to call home. In 2015, we’ll be able to provide homes for even more people in need.

Q.         What inspired you to get involved with RESOLVE?

The challenge and impact of collaboration.  The audacious goal.  The transformational change that RESOLVE is leaving as a legacy in how we work and live as a community. I truly believe that everyone deserves a home.  Homelessness can impact you, or me, or those that we know. As a person in Calgary who is fortunate to have a network of support, it is rewarding to see everyone build that through housing first. And homes to build that foundation are critical.   No matter what challenges people face – limited mobility, living on fixed or low income, addiction, domestic violence, incarceration, mental illness – they deserve to have a safe, affordable and supported home so they can address these issues.

Right now in Calgary there is an acute shortage of affordable housing. With the constant influx of people and a lack of affordable housing, there are 3,500 Calgarians who are currently homeless and another 14,000 households who are just one paycheque away from joining them. I’d like to walk down the street, take transit, go shopping, meet at the bank, and visit in our community with people of all walks in life.  Let’s remove the invisibility some of our most vulnerable and marginalized people face.  That is what makes our community vital and healthy.

What would you say about the RESOLVE team?

This team is the most committed, skilled, caring and focused group of individuals I have ever worked with.  Everyone here has a connection to our cause and brings their heart and head to solving homelessness through raising $120 Million. This is a group of people who truly believe in the work of our Partners and, in turn, the work we’re doing to help them better serve our most vulnerable citizens. With RESOLVE being the first Campaign of its kind in Canada, there is a steep learning curve when it comes to the number of people and organizations involved. We’re creating new best practices and forging a path.  But RESOLVE staff are always up for the challenge.

 For more about the RESOLVE Campaign, please visit their website.  www.resolvecampaign.com 

 

Interview by:  Sharon deBoer, Director of Development, CHF 

 


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