Horizon Housing Society
Our Story Why We Exist
After losing a successful job, his home and family to mental illness, Bob lived under a cloud. The right home, with the right support, has given him a second chance. A severe anxiety attack left Bob hospitalized for seven weeks, broken and uncomfortable in his own skin. A successful businessman for 25 years, he had it all — a beautiful wife and son, a magnificent home, a Mercedes. He was the last person anyone expected to fall apart. The anxiety attack changed his life forever.
While Bob was in the hospital, his wife drained every last cent from their bank accounts and vanished, leaving him with only his car, his stereo and a chair. He tried to go back to work after his release but the pressure of his prominent position was too steep a hill for him to climb without proper support.
He didn’t eat or sleep. He wore the same dark suit to work every day for weeks and would rarely bathe. A heavy cloud of paranoia and depression hung over him. By this time he had attempted suicide on three occasions. After a year and half, he was fired.
The decrepit apartment Bob rented was filthy. He had no money, no food and was facing eviction. His sister began to fly in from Toronto every two weeks and, slowly, she helped him rebuild his life. He began seeing a psychiatrist and going to group sessions. Through his Canadian Mental Health Association support worker, he discovered Bob Ward Residence, a building owned and managed by Horizon Housing Society for tenants with mental health challenges, physical disabilities and people living below the poverty line.
“Living here has given me the opportunity to find myself again. This place has the support I need,” Bob says. His neighbours have become like an extended family. “I know Jess [Building Manager for Bob Ward Residence] will knock on my door if he hasn’t seen me in a few days and make sure I’m OK.”
“I’m grateful to have a safe place to come home to when I’m feeling overwhelmed,” Bob says, pulling out the key to his apartment and holding it up proudly. “This is my key.”
Our Impact What We Do
Since 1976, Horizon Housing Society has been housing some of Calgary’s most vulnerable individuals and families by providing affordable, integrated and supported homes to over 700 individuals in the city of Calgary. As a provider of affordable housing with nearly forty years of experience, Horizon Housing has been successful serving tenants with a variety of special needs including individuals living with mental health challenges, physical disabilities, families and seniors living below the poverty line and the working poor. Tenants enjoy a home free of judgement, full of hope and surrounded by a community of mutual respect and support.
We are proud to provide residential rental housing that is appropriate, affordable, integrated and supported.
Throughout the years, Horizon Housing has seen the benefit of partnering with various support agencies to offer homes to individuals living with special needs. Horizon Housing began with Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region being the sole partner. Over time, Horizon Housing has widened its reach to include more than 15 agencies. We now offer homes to individuals living with mental health challenges, physical disabilities, brain injuries, families and seniors living below the poverty line and the working poor.
Partnerships are vital to the work we do. Our support agency partners refer tenants to us and provide needed supports, such as case management and counseling, to ensure each tenant is able to successfully integrate into community and sustain their housing long-term. By combining support programs of our partner agencies with the stability of a home, our tenants can work through life’s challenges and begin to contribute to a community that grows healthier and more vibrant as a result of their success. We believe the foundation of our success and the success of our tenants in making homes with us is possible when we can provide safe, secure and supported homes.
Horizon Housing owns and manages 15 different residences in Calgary (eight group homes and seven apartment buildings). These residences provide a safe home to over 700 tenants. We promote a mixed-use, integrated concept for our apartments, which promotes community integration and reduces the stigma attached to a particular group while enhancing the quality of life for our tenants. Our buildings are our trademake of care, competence and experienced property management.
Horizon Housing Society is known as an experienced, professional operator and a leader in the affordable housing sector. Our professional policies and practices demonstrate our commitment to providing quality homes and remaining a welcome neighbour in the communities we operate.
Our Accomplishments: In 2013, Horizon Housing Society won Calgary Residential Rental Associations’ Building of the Year (100+ units) award for our Alice Bissett Place property in Inglewood. This award is especially significant, as it stood out among many market-based rental properties and demonstrates the fact that affordable housing really can operate at the highest standards.
Our Mission is to provide appropriate homes in an integrated environment to persons with mental health challenges or other special needs
Our Vision is achieved when all people with special needs are living in appropriate homes integrated within our community.
Our Programs How We Do It
At Horizon Housing Society we are focused on delivering safe, affordable homes for our tenants. Our business is about effective management of our housing portfolio and delivering safe, affordable housing for our tenants. To pave the way to individual success for the people we serve, we partner with those who can deliver services and supports to ensure each tenant successfully maintains and sustains their independent living in our community. Many of our tenants receive support from outside agencies to ensure their long-term success.
Thirty-five years ago, Patricia and a girlfriend climbed aboard a train and headed westward from Ontario. She did well. Worked hard. Got married, had a daughter and when the marriage ended, she kept moving ahead, doing what she’d always done, taking care of what needed to be done. And then, the unexpected struck. A debilitating illness left her unable to work. As the sole breadwinner in her home, with no income coming in, she feared she'd be homeless. Two years ago, her mental health worker told her about Alice Bissett Place, a residence for singles and families in the Inglewood area. “It was a dream come true,” she says. “Living here has given me peace of mind. I don’t continually worry..."
Our partnerships are vital to our community. Our partnerships ensure that each tenant, no matter their past experiences, mental or physical limitations, or whether they are just leaving homelessness, are able to experience a success in their home. Our partnerships are how we build community, person by person, block by block.
Horizon Housing works with many organizations to bring housing solutions to the table. Together, we are better equipped to build healthier communities. We can’t build community alone and seek out collaboration opportunities with partners to make a more significant collective impact.
Horizon Housing Society is one of nine proud partners in the RESOLVE Campaign, which is a first-of-its-kind, community-driven fundraising Campaign aimed at creating a diverse mix of affordable rent-based housing units in Calgary.
Our Requests What You Can Do
There's a critical shortage of affordable housing in Calgary. We're blessed with a prosperous economy, but with growth comes challenges. One of the biggest obstacles to reaching the goals of the 10 Year Plan is the lack of affordable housing infrastructure. It is no surprise that Calgary is once again leading the nation with an innovative solution to this challenge. No other city has nine social service agencies working together to solve a problem that affects our whole community.
Calgary is a city like no other and because of everyone working together, our goal is attainable. Our city has the capacity and the willingness to give – and we have a great case about why giving to RESOLVE will make a lasting difference to our city, not just to the 3,000 homeless and vulnerable Calgarians who will have a place to call home, but for every Calgarian for decades to come.
Make a one-time or monthly donation online and help bring dreams to life. Your donation will go directly to the construction of our next affordable housing project and will help open doors and build hope for individuals and families in need.
Help create vibrant, connected communities. Give directly to our residents by donating or sponsoring one of our annual events such as our Community Stampede Barbecue or Tenant Holiday Party. These events are stepping stones to creating welcoming, inclusive communities and establishing a sense of pride and belonging among the people we serve.
For donation and sponsorship opportunities, contact Scott Corner at 403-297-1709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Host your own pancake breakfast, corporate party, bake sale or other special event in support of Horizon Housing Society. By hosting your own community event, you have the unique opportunity to raise funds and awareness for affordable housing.
If you have an idea for hosting your own fundraising event, contact Scott Corner at 403-297-1709 or email@example.com.
Lead the Way
Housing Society is one of nine proud partners in the RESOLVE Campaign, a unique collaboration to provide affordable and supported housing for 3,000 vulnerable and homeless Calgarians.
Lend a Hand
There are many ways to lend a hand with Horizon Housing. Whether you’re an individual looking to offer your professional expertise or a group wanting a hands-on team building experience, we welcome your interest in lending a hand.
To learn more about available volunteer opportunities, contact Scott Corner at 403-297-1709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.