Wellness | Mental Health, Physical Health
Living Standards | Work, Poverty, Food, Housing, Education And Learning
Community Connections | Inclusion, Aging Population

Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre Society

In our community on any given night, nearly 3,000 people need shelter; the reasons why are just as numerous. For more than 55 years, Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre (the DI) has delivered emergency shelter, health services, community resources and housing supports, to people either experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Continuing to lead with local agencies and serving as part of the Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Homeless-Serving System of Cares, the DI is positioned to be the most effective shelter in North America.

Our Story

Why We Exist

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.

Our Impact

What We Do

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:

  • approximately 1.2 million meals are served
  • more than 100,000 clothing items are distributed
  • nearly 5,300 job placements are made for clients
  • 2,000 former clients give back and volunteer at the DI
  • we aim to support over 200 shelter stayers find housing

Our Programs

How We Do It

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:

  • Housing and resource hubs
  • Move-out program and free furniture
  •  Financial support to help with housing barriers related to poverty (e.g. security deposits)
  • Affordable housing and senior’s housing properties

The DI helps people with basic needs:

  • Emergency shelter
  • Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner service
  • Client services (free clothing room, mail service, showers, laundry, etc.)

The DI helps empower people:

  • Trauma informed client interaction
  • Employment services training resume building, etc.
  • Diversion, case management and victim services

The DI helps the community get involved:

  • Community education and advocacy
  • Volunteer opportunities, third party fundraising support

Our Requests

What You Can Do

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:

  • Prep and/or serve meals to our clients
  • Prepare sandwiches for bagged lunches
  • Assist staff on the front-line as an adult care volunteer
  • Sort and stock the free clothing room or donation centre
  • Represent the DI as an ambassador or tour leader

To volunteer, visit https://www.calgarydropin.ca/volunteer. If you have questions about volunteer opportunities, please email volunteer@thedi.ca.

Donate what you can, because everything helps. Here’s a list of suggestions based on our biggest needs:

  • Cash donations to help support programs and services
  • Food, bottles of water, leftover catering – we take it all!
  • New or used clothes, towels, kitchen utensils, hygiene products, furniture
  • Steel toe work boots, socks, coveralls, gloves
  • Computers, laptops, cell phones for the Computers for Low Income Calgarians (CLIC) program

To donate, visit https://www.calgarydropin.ca/donate. If you have questions about donations, please email engagement@thedi.ca or call 403.699.8227.

Sponsor a meal to make the difference between cold cereal and a hot breakfast.

  • From breakfast to dinner (and all the snacks in between), your sponsorship can help improve nutrition and satisfaction for clients going off to work, looking for housing or otherwise supporting their wellness.

To learn more about how you can sponsor a meal, visit https://www.calgarydropin.ca/meal-sponsorship/

Stay Connected


Vicki Hauser

Director, Engagement


Charitable Number: 118823459RR0001

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