Shaundra Bruvall | September 16, 2021
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.
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
- 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:
Short-term, crisis-oriented emergency shelter 24/7 for Albertans under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
*CALGARY AND LETHBRIDGE
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
Community and permanent-supportive housing programs to ensure housing stability and individualized supports for over 300 individuals.
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.