A recovery program that has housed countless vulnerable Calgarians is being forced to shut down.
Keys to Recovery will no longer exist come this September.
The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) provided funding for the program for the past eight years. Officials said it wasn’t fulfilling its expectations with clients.
Victoria Ballance said Keys to Recovery had been under review for the past two years.
“We identified performance deficiencies and we worked with them to close gaps and identify solutions and ultimately they weren’t able to close the gap and we had to make a difficult decision,” Ballance said.
The CHF won’t be renewing its contract but insists no client will be left on their own.
Ballance said all of the 85 clients with Keys to Recovery will be housed and ongoing recovery efforts will be supported by other existing agencies.
“Because the funding is still in place and it’s going to other agencies, they will be able to be linked to familiar supports, so there isn’t a risk,” Ballance said.
But clients within the program argue the value of Keys to Recovery.
Roger Albert, 60, credits the program with saving his life. Albert was suicidal and addicted to crack cocaine and said the support workers helped him find his dignity again.
“It was the support. It was the love. I feel like I am member of a family that I lost,” Albert said.
“This was a community that says: I am here to support you.”
Because the program is dissolving, Albert has to move out of his sober living home and transition to another apartment.
Calgary Homeless Foundation hopes all the clients will be settled by the end of September.