Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre Society
Our Story Why We Exist
Everyone deserves a second chance in a welcoming place where they can be part of a community that supports, nurtures and respects them without judging them for where they’ve been.
Dolly Sutherland, for example, was adopted as a little girl, and later dropped off as a teenager at a women’s shelter. As a coping mechanism, she began using drugs and alcohol. At 40 years of age after years of battling her addiction Dolly met Mark Wetter and fell in love. Dolly recovered from her addiction and their love grew stronger.
When Mark and Dolly said they wanted to get married, the Drop-In offered to help. Community connected. Joy was created.
The couple was married in a charming ceremony. Dolly wore a beautiful white gown. A flower girl dropped rose petals along the aisle. After the couple was introduced as man and wife, Mrs. Wetter joyfully pumped her fists.
“It’s really overwhelming,” an emotional Mark said after the ceremony. “What a road to go down, and it’s not over yet, but this is a huge, huge step.”
Why get involved? “We can feel really helpless about things happening in the world,” says Rev. Lee Spice who officiated the ceremony. “But the world changes with one act of kindness at a time.”
Thanks to the support of the Drop-In’s volunteers, donors, and staff, Mark found a job. Mark and Dolly are no longer homeless. Most importantly, they are happy.
Our Impact What We Do
In an age where marginalized Calgarians have few resources to fall back on, the Drop-In Centre is a one-stop resource for low-income and homeless Calgarians to access vital services and meaningful support to assist them in finding what they need to live, learn and thrive.
ENGAGING VULNERABLE PEOPLE:
Every day our clients wake up fully aware of the unspoken fear and stereotypes they will face once they set out in public. People cross the street or change seats on transit to avoid being too near to them. No feeling can match that level of loneliness and isolation. And nothing can prepare someone for the dehumanizing sense of visible invisibility it projects onto their world.
- In order to help the public feel more comfortable co-existing with homeless men and women in their communities, the Calgary Drop-In Centre has partnered with the City of Calgary, the Downtown Community Association and a number of local non-profit organizations to create the Engaging Vulnerable People workshop.
- This workshop has been especially well received by new recruits with the Calgary Police Service and EMS — many of whom have reported the incredible difference it has made in improving their interactions with homeless populations.
50% of Calgary Drop-In clients regularly work; and 58,000 Calgary households are one pay cheque, or crisis, away from homelessness.
OTHER SERVICES WE OFFER:
- 24/7 BUILDING ACCESS: Our compassionate and well trained staff work around the clock providing 24/7 Building Access and 24/7 Care to our clients.
- ARTBEAT STAGE: Through a combination of volunteerism and donations, every Friday night the Calgary Drop-In Centre brings in musical acts both locally and travelling around the continent to provide a musical solace for our community.
- BUILDING SECURITY: Our team of licensed and well trained security staff work diligently to protect our clients, staff, and property. Our clients are vulnerable persons and our Centre is a safe haven where our clients know that their welfare always takes precedence.
- COMMUNITY GARDEN: Five years ago, Downtown Calgary and the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre created a garden oasis amidst a concrete jungle with a community garden. While community gardens have become common, this one is unique in that the gardeners so far have been Drop-In Centre (DI) volunteers and clients.
In 2015, we served a total of 10,965 people, 88% of which were men; and we also served 1,239,964 meals, including 170,009 bagged lunches for people who work.
97,382 clothing items were distributed and 36,509 laundry appointments were made; 18,572 counselling session referrals were made, including 2,283 to government agencies.
Our employment office placed 11,574 jobs in 2015, all of which were guaranteed a minimum of $12 per hour.
Our Programs How We Do It
The Drop-In has over 50 programs and services, including:
- Emergency shelter
- Affordable housing
- Client volunteer program
- Employment training
- Computer training
- Counseling and support
- Furniture program
- Employment Office
- Literacy program
- Personal care
- Art program
- Personal care
- Seniors program
- Health and wellness services
- Woodworking Shop
Our Requests What You Can Do
Your critically important support makes it possible for the Drop-In team to shelter, feed, clothe and counsel Calgary’s homeless to a better future. Our success is directly linked to people like you who make a difference.
Learn about donation opportunities at www.CalgaryDropIn.ca/Donate or contact us directly. Phone: 403-263-5707. Email: info@CalgaryDropIn.ca. Or visit the Drop-In at 1 Dermot Baldwin Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0P8.
People are not born on the street. Nor do lives have to end there. With your help and support, this is where lives can begin. If you share our belief in kindness, please refer to our current list: Needs List.