The INNside Scoop: Help shape the National Housing Strategy 

Inn from the Cold: The INNside Scoop
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Help shape the National Housing Strategy

We are Alberta’s only no barrier Emergency Family Shelter and have seen an unprecedented growth in the need for our services over the past five years. Our shelter has operated at or over capacity more than 90% of the time since 2013.
We are hopeful that the federal government’s Let’s Talk Housing  initiative will result in a Canada where all citizens have access to safe, suitable, secure and affordable housing. We fully support the six (6) recommendations put forth by the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) regarding the National Housing Strategy. In addition, we have further recommendations not contained within the CHF proposal. We know two things:

1. Families are the fastest growing demographic impacted by homelessness.
2. Homeless children and their families have very different experiences and needs than single homeless populations.
Based on these two facts, we recommend the following:  
  1. Comprehensive research into the experience and needs of homeless children and their families is required in order to best serve the needs of this population.
  2. Children and families experiencing homelessness need to be considered a distinct population (as Indigenous households are considered in recommendation six) and partnering, reinvesting and building capacity for homeless children and families is necessary.
  3. With respect to recommendations to increase rental and social housing stocks available, it is important to note that families’ requirements include: access to three to four bedroom affordable units, access to public transportation, access to education, food security and poverty-serving community supports.
  4. A deep look into diversion and prevention programming is critical for at-risk children and families.
We are pleased to see the federal government is taking action and encouraging input from Canadians in order to develop a National Housing Strategy that works for all Canadians and we encourage every one of you to visit and have your say by Friday, October 21.

The INNside Look

A day in Anna's shoes

When a family arrives at our Emergency Family Shelter, they go through a standard intake process; they have a registration screening, are assigned a family advocate, then go through more assessments. If you’ve attended any of our experiential tours, you may have experienced a tiny piece of this yourselves. This however, is a behind the scenes look at the impact our shelter staff have on the families staying at Inn from the Cold.

How it encompasses a multitude of roles within in their title; childcare worker, listener, advisor, referee, advocate, humanitarian, authoritarian, and the list goes on.

The decisions that are made within these walls are different for each individual family, parent and child. The work of our frontline staff is not for the faint of heart; no rules or regulations are cut and dry. Every child and individual is different so we adjust our thinking and our decision making based on each and every one of the roughly 100 individuals who call Inn from the Cold their home.

For me personally, my role has been one that is meant to stay strong and supportive so that the our staff can take a few minutes behind closed doors to protect the other children and families from seeing a screaming child, or giving those same staff the few moments they need to wipe the tears from their eyes behind those same doors, tears that I have to save for when I walk out the front doors and head home.

Congratulations Stikeman Elliott & Suzanne West

2016 Generosity of Spirit™ Award honourees

As part of Philanthropy Awareness Week (Nov 5-15), outstanding individual and corporate philanthropists are being recognized. Our very own long-time supporters and nominees Stikeman Elliott and Suzanne West will be honoured in Calgary during the National Philanthropy Day® Luncheon on Tuesday, November 15. We are so grateful your support and on behalf of the homeless children and families we serve, thank you for all that you do. 

Meet Paula

Paula has been volunteering at the Inn for longer than she can remember. She is one of the Inn’s longest serving individual volunteers, and has had the opportunity to engage with the Inn in a multitude of ways.

Paula started out as a Family Facilitator, a volunteer role who works directly with children and their families staying at the Inn. “It was definitely challenging,” she notes, “I had to learn, I had to adapt. You had to have a lot of creativity, and it was really nice because you learn so much from that.”

She has had many memorable moments, but Paula says her most memorable moment was during a dinner service “I don’t remember if it was a girl or a boy, but they came to me and said ‘when I grow up I want to be a volunteer like you.'”
Paula has been involved in many other volunteer activities and encourages everyone to volunteer, saying “please do go volunteer, it’s going to help you a lot. It takes your mind out of yourself, and gives you a bigger picture, and you do learn a lot.”

Please consider joining the Inn Crowd, our monthly giving program.

When you are part of the Inn Crowd, giving is more convenient for you, your donations will make a regular, compounded impact and you will enjoy special perks that come along with being part of the Inn Crowd. Monthly donations help us achieve our mission and vision through consistent, sustainable support. Please email for more information or click here to join now.
Copyright © 2016 Inn From The Cold

In accordance with Anti Spam Legislation, Inn from the Cold continues to send communications under the regulation exemption for any commercial electronic message "that is sent by or on behalf of a registered charity as defined in subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act and the message has as its primary purpose raising funds for the charity." If there is a change in the way you would like to receive communications from us, please contact us.

Inn from the Cold Society is planning to raise an estimated $4,400,000 in the 2016/17 fiscal year through fundraising activities, which will cost our organization an estimated $670,000. The money we raise will help create a brighter future for homeless families in our community. For more information, please contact Janeen Webb:

Our address is #106, 110 - 11th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0X5. Charitable Number: 87082 3648 RR0001.

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