Calgary emergency shelters rush to find homes for families amid COVID-19 outbreak

A file photo. COURTESY: Inn from the Cold

Several Calgary emergency shelters are moving quickly to get families into homes amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Inn from the Cold has managed to transition 14 families out of the emergency shelter into their own apartments this past week.

“It was not safe because we couldn’t physically distance our families,” said Inn From the Cold executive director Heather Morley.

She said with the help of Home Space, an affordable housing provider, the United Way, the provincial government and private landlords, Inn from the Cold was able to get families into their apartments more quickly than they normally would.

Morley said the staff from Inn from the Cold will continue to provide supports for the families at the various locations.

READ MORE: Edmonton EXPO Centre homeless shelter to have drop-in, COVID-19 health-care services

As of Friday, two families were staying at Inn from the Cold. The families remaining at the emergency shelter will each have their own bathroom.

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“We are expecting an increased demand, but it’s uncertain how Inn from the Cold will accommodate what may be a huge influx of families,” Morley said.

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Brenda’s House has also relocated many of their clients.

The CEO of Brenda’s House said they are moving all of their families out of the shelter and into their own homes.

Within the last few days, they have moved out nine families and the rest will likely be moved out by Monday. There were 14 families staying there originally.

“This a great news for the families. They are so excited to go from homelessness into permanent housing,” said Patty Kilgallon, the CEO of Children’s Cottage Society which operates Brenda’s House.

“We will continue to welcome more homeless families but with the goal of getting them into their own homes within a week,” Kilgallon said.

Brenda’s House opened 11 years ago. The facility is owned by the Brenda Strafford Foundation. Fourteen families (around 50 to 60 people) stay there at one time while they are experiencing homelessness. It is a home-like environment where each family stays in their own room equipped with a private washroom. They receive 24-hour crisis support while they are at the facility.

Watch below: (From March 25, 2020) Calgary homeless shelters are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by screening people entering their facilities. Here’s Gil Tucker with more on how shelters are coping.

Click to play video: 'How Calgary homeless shelters are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic'
How Calgary homeless shelters are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic

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