DOLLAR VALUE OF NEED: $168,000
Due to COVID-19, the Calgary Drop-In Centre is seeking support so we can continue providing 2,000+ daily meals and snacks to Calgary’s most vulnerable people. Since the pandemic was announced, we have seen an increase of 100-150 individuals at each meal. We will soon have three additional shelter spaces in the city to run and operate, which is an addition to our main emergency shelter. Not only do we need to continue to support and feed the most vulnerable populations who rely on us, but due to the uncertainty of this pandemic, we require one month’s supply of food and supplies at all times. This one month’s supply protects us in case our suppliers encounter any issues in regards to supply chain management. To be able to store, prepare and serve 2,000+ meals per day, we estimate that this will cost us approximately $168,000. This budget includes one month of food and supplies for four facilities, the purchase of a 3-tonne refer truck, and rental fees for a cold storage trailer and c-cans to store frozen foods and dry goods. Any financial support that the Calgary Foundation and their generous funders are able to provide will be greatly appreciated by the DI and the Calgarians we serve.
The DI works to improve the lives of people experiencing temporary or long-term displacement. Whether people need a place to rest and restore or a place to find housing and community supports—the DI can accommodate the needs of a diverse group of people.
There are endless stories that have kept staff, volunteers and donors dedicated over the years, and many of these stories are rooted in the courage, resiliency and hard-work of the people they serve.
One of those stories is about “Robert”. Robert lost his job in the recession and began working part-time for minimal pay. He picked up whatever shifts he could, but he eventually lost his truck, his ATV and his house. Despite his hardship, Robert was adamant he wouldn’t lose his kids. Having no place to live, he regularly came to the DI for food and shelter. He came to shower, wash his clothes and rest after a long day’s work.
Yet, every second weekend Robert wouldn’t show up.
Knowing Robert had a small network in Calgary and few options, DI staff checked in to make sure he was safe. What they found out was heartwarming.
Robert had been using a significant portion of his small earnings to rent hotel rooms for when his kids were in town. He had joint custody of his children, but in order to spend time with them, Robert needed a safe and private space for them to hang out and sleep.
Case managers were then able to help Robert recognize the financial barrier to his lack of permanent housing and provide him the $1,000 he needed for the security deposit on his rental. Today, Robert has his own housing and a safe home to create memories with his children.
Many DI stories are like Robert’s, but many aren’t. For over 55 years, the DI has been a safe place, a “home”, for many people. Though it’s easy for some people to leave and quickly regain independence, we also recognize how much courage, hard work and additional resources it takes for others. As difficult as it is to come to shelter for help, it can be just as daunting to leave. With this in mind, the DI’s emergency shelter and client services remain crucial pieces to the DI’s new housing-focused direction.
The Calgary Drop-In Centre (the DI) is part of the Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Homeless-Serving System of Care and works in collaboration with other local agencies.
On average, every year:
The DI is a housing-focused shelter that is open 24-hours a day every day of the year. We provide shelter, support and meals to nearly 1,000 people per day. Thanks to the kindness of local agencies, community volunteers and donors, as well as dedicated DI staff, the DI helps in a variety of ways.
The DI helps people find housing:
The DI helps people with basic needs:
The DI helps empower people:
The DI helps the community get involved:
The support of the community is crucial. Big or small, community contributions are what makes the difference between providing basic human needs and providing compassionate care and empowerment.
If you’re looking to give back to your neighbors who need it the most, here’s a few ways you can get started.
Volunteer with us or another local agency in the city. The DI is always recruiting volunteers to:
Donate what you can, because everything helps. Here’s a list of suggestions based on our biggest needs:
Sponsor a meal to make the difference between cold cereal and a hot breakfast.
To learn more about how you can sponsor a meal, visit https://www.calgarydropin.ca/meal-sponsorship/