News & Events

About Alpha House – For Election Candidates

Shaundra Bruvall | September 16, 2021

WELCOME

Thank you for your interest in Alpha House and our work with vulnerable individuals in southern Alberta. We are a trusted non-profit agency that provides safe and caring environments for individuals whose lives are affected by alcohol and other substance dependencies. We currently operate in Calgary and Lethbridge.

Originally established in 1981, Alpha House has a long history of innovating and evolving to meet the changing needs of our clients, the communities where we operate, and the increasing complexities of homelessness and drug use.

Today, we partner with all levels of government, community first responders, and other agencies to help address key social issues such as the opioid crisis, the growing need for supportive housing for vulnerable Albertans, mental health and addiction services, and evidence-based, harm reduction policies such as safe consumption sites.

 

THE FACTS

Permanent-Supportive Housing (PSH)

  • PSH reduces the use of publicly funded crisis services, including jails, hospitalizations, and emergency departments
  • A study of HF programs in Alberta published in 2020 reported cost savings of $1.17 to $2.84 for every dollar invested in housing first

Opioid Crisis

  • A study of 7 SCS programs in Canada found evidence of cost savings through Reduced disease transmission
  • Prevention of overdose deaths (reduced cost of EMS/medical system)

 

HOW OUR PROGRAMS HELP ALBERTANS

Our programs and services make up a continuum of care, which clients can enter at any point, based on their needs. Our services include:

 

SHELTER

Short-term, crisis-oriented emergency shelter 24/7 for Albertans under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

*CALGARY AND LETHBRIDGE

 

DETOX/STABILIZATION/TRANSITIONAL HOUSING

Residential care for clients to safely withdrawal from drugs in a socially or medically supportive environment and a temporary residential care program for clients to transition safely into housing or drug treatment facilities/programs.

*CALGARY AND LETHBRIDGE

 

HOUSING

Community and permanent-supportive housing programs to ensure housing stability and individualized supports for over 300 individuals.

*CALGARY

 

OUTREACH

Mobile response teams for individuals on the streets or in camps to meet clients where they are at, support recovery goals, and provide immediate supports ultimately reducing the impact of  intoxication  and homelessness on the broader community and public systems.

*CALGARY AND LETHBRIDGE

 

OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES AND RESPONSES

The needs of those we serve and the communities we are part of are constantly changing. New, unique responses are required more urgently as a result of an increasingly toxic drug supply, increased uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the housing crisis across Canada. Alpha House continues to evolve our programs and partnerships to help meet these needs, including:

  • Expanding of our Encampment and DOAP Transit teams to increase services to vulnerable clients
  • Building stronger partnerships with Calgary Police Services, Calgary Community Standards (Bylaw), and Calgary Transit as well as first responders for increased community-based supports including the introduction of the new DOAP Indigenous Team in October 2021
  • Advocating for more permanent-supportive housing, increased harm-reduction supports such as naloxone and Engaging Vulnerable Persons training for community members, increased access to stabilization and detox facilities and engagement with businesses around responsible, compassionate action for individuals experiencing homelessness

 

WORKING TOGETHER WITH GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY

Our work is a direct intersection of homelessness and addiction and mental health. It requires a robust and compassionate community response with extensive supports and programs. Many of the people we serve have experienced significant trauma throughout their life and the resulting coping mechanisms such as alcohol and drug use often lead to increased instability and a greater need for wrap around supports.

Alpha House operates from a Housing First perspective meaning individuals are better able to work on other aspects of their lives if they have shelter security and a place to call home.

Based on over three decades of frontline experience, we know that the best response to helping vulnerable adults is to bring together the collaborative resources, expertise and support from local residents and businesses, as well as key partners and all levels of government. Through a unified, holistic approach, we can support vulnerable Albertans to meet them where they are at and help them find greater stability and wellness in their lives.

To learn more about our work and the latest Alpha House news, follow us on social media.

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Re-Zoning Application Update

Shaundra Bruvall | August 9, 2021

 

Update from August 20, 2021

At this time, Alpha House will not be moving forward with our re-zoning application to request a bylaw change at our facility at 802 2A Ave SE.

A few weeks ago, we shared that we were amending our application to put on hold:

  1. A bylaw request to support integration of the current mobile Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) into the Shelter facility
  2. A bylaw request to support shelter space that would be lost due to the OPS moving indoors.

It was our intention to move forward with:

  • requesting a bylaw change to support adding medical services to our current stabilization program.

However, we have withdrawn our application in its entirety as of today due to circumstances out of our control. As a result, there will be no public hearing on this issue on 24 August 2021.

We are extremely disappointed to not be able to move forward with re-zoning to support a medical detox program for the City of Lethbridge. Due to a loss of funding for this project, we are unable to proceed.

It is our hope to continue engaging in the dialogue around social service provision in the city as we believe collaboration will be key to creating safe, inclusive communities for everyone.

We appreciate the community support we have received thus far and will continue to support the city’s most vulnerable through our Emergency Shelter and other programs.

 

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Update from August 9, 2021

Alpha House originally submitted a re-zoning application that included three elements.

  1. A bylaw change to support integrating the current mobile Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) into the Shelter facility to provide increased community safety and continuity of services
  2. A bylaw change to support the shelter space that would be lost if the OPS was moved into the Shelter
  3. A bylaw change to support adding medical services to our current stabilization program

We have worked with community members, neighbours, and other stakeholders over the past few months to explain our reasoning for re-zoning and to address questions.

Based on community feedback, as well as the creation of the Social Services Integration Group (SSIG), we have requested an amendment to our re-zoning application to ensure appropriate discussion can continue around the Lethbridge community’s needs. We are happy to be flexible with our re-zoning ask to ensure we are finding the best solutions for vulnerable Albertans and the best locations for social services.

The amendment we have requested for our application focuses solely on a bylaw change to support adding medical services to our current stabilization centre. A medically supported detox will provide an additional recovery option to individuals struggling with addiction. 

Alpha House has already been awarded funding to offer medical supports through our current stabilization program and we would not want Lethbridge to miss out on this significant provincial investment. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@alphahouselethbridge.com

If you would like to learn more about our current programs – you can read more about our services here 


Virtual Tour and Open House June 2021

Shaundra Bruvall | June 22, 2021

Alpha House hosted a Virtual Tour and Open House on Thursday June 17, 2021 as part of a re-zoning application process we are currently pursuing for the property at 802 2A Ave N Lethbridge. You can learn more about the re-zoning process at www.alphahouselethbridge.com/the-road-to-rezoning/.

The stakeholders involved in the Open House include businesses and organizations within a 100m radius around the Lethbridge Shelter and Stabilization Centre but if any community members are interested in learning more, we have recorded the session here and you can see the presentation here: Re-Zoning Lethbridge Shelter FINAL

A tour of our Lethbridge facility can be found here.