The Holiday Season in a family emergency shelter

December 21, 2018

A note of gratitude from the Interim Executive Director

By: Louise Gallagher


The Holiday Season in a family emergency shelter is a time of comfort and joy. Volunteers, donors, and staff do their best to decorate floors and ensure gifts appear under the tree for every guest, young or old.

The Holiday Season in a family emergency shelter is a time of stress. Children worry about whether Santa will find them if they have no fixed address, and parents worry about how they’re going to find their way home when the longest night of the year looms and darkness prevails.

This Holiday Season in a family emergency shelter is a time of gratitude. No matter how tough the times, no matter how sparse the gifts under the tree, everyone in the shelter gives thanks for those who come in to share their time, talents and treasures to make this time of year so special and memorable.

It’s hard to imagine a child staying in an emergency shelter on Christmas Eve. It’s hard to understand in a city as progressive and philanthropically minded as Calgary how it can happen.

But it can.

Every day of the year.

This year, we give special thanks to those who have stood with us as we’ve managed increased families coming to our shelter at a time when the economic crisis in the city has resulted in decreased resources filling our coffers.

Your commitment, support and willingness to give has ensured over 500 children had access to food, a bus to get to school, supplies to fill their backpacks and milk with their after-school snack.

Your commitment, support and willingness to give has provided over 400 parents with a safe place to shelter their family during a housing crisis and assisted families in achieving independence through housing.

And your commitment, support and willingness to give has ensured we operated 24/7 every day of this year secure in the knowledge that we could provide the right supports at the right time to every family member who came through our doors on their journey home.

Thank you. We are grateful for you and all you do to make our work possible. You are the energy that keeps us moving forward. You are the fuel that gives substance to our vision of building a community where no child or family is homeless.