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 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 my Building Manager 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.”
Since 1976, Horizon Housing has been housing some of Calgary’s most vulnerable individuals and families by providing affordable, integrated and supported homes to over 900 individuals in the city of Calgary. As a provider of affordable housing with over forty years of experience, Horizon Housing has been successfully serving residents 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. Residents 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 40 agencies.
Partnerships are vital to the work we do. Our support agency partners refer residents to us and provide needed supports, such as case management and counseling, to ensure each individual and family 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, people have opportunities to 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 people who make their homes with us is possible when they have the foundation of a safe, secure and supported home.
Horizon Housing owns and manages 21 buildings in Calgary (nine group homes and twelve apartment buildings). 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 residents. Our buildings are our trademark of care, competence and experienced property management.
Horizon Housing is known as an experienced, professional operator and a leader in the affordable housing sector. Our sector-leading practices demonstrate our commitment to providing quality homes and remaining a welcome neighbour in the communities we operate in.
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 and in 2015, Building of the Year for Bob Ward Residence in Glamorgan. This recognition is significant, as it highlights Horizon among both non-market and market-based rental properties and illustrates affordable housing as an example of industry-leading operating standards and property management practices.
Our Mission is to provide affordable homes as a foundation for tomorrow.
Our Vision is to lead transformational change in the operation and development of affordable housing so that every Calgarian has a place to call home.
At Horizon Housing we are focused on delivering safe, affordable homes for our residents. Our business is about effective management of our housing portfolio and delivering safe, affordable housing for the individuals and families who choose to make their homes with us. 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 resident has the opportunity and support to successfully maintain and sustains their independent living in our community. Many of our residents 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 and ensure each resident, no matter their past experiences, mental or physical limitations, or whether they are just leaving homelessness, are able to experience 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.
There’s a critical shortage of affordable housing in Calgary, with 15,000 units needed in the next 10 years simply to reach the national average. 17,000 households in Calgary are at risk of homelessness because they earn less than $30,000 and spend more than half on rent. Horizon is helping to meet this tremendous need by developing new affordable housing projects to ensure every Calgarian has a place to call home.
Make a one-time or monthly donation online and help bring dreams to life. All general donations 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.
Click here to donate online.
Help create vibrant, connected communities. Give directly to our residents by donating or sponsoring one of our annual events such as our Community Stampede BBQ or Resident 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 us at 403-297-1741 or [email protected].
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 us at 403-297-1741 or [email protected].