Families struggling with homelessness get a boost from Inn from the Cold
Ten Calgary families struggling with finding an affordable home will soon be moving into Journey House 2 an Inn from the Cold initiative.
Inn from the Cold purchased a building in Crescent Heights in June of 2017 for about two million dollars and then spent six months and $700,000 renovating it to house ten families.
These apartments will also give the organization a bit of breathing room.
“It’s a profound difference maker to be able to make ten - three bedroom apartments available to super vulnerable people,” says Executive Director Abe Brown. “ We’ve been at capacity or over-capacity 65 per cent of the time in 2017 so our shelter is full and so right away we’re going to be able to move some families into this particular location and they’re going to have their own home and their own bedrooms and their own privacy and we’re so excited about that.”
Adriana Chow will be moving into one of the apartments after Christmas.
She is a single mother to three boys aged 12, ten and six and says this new home will mean a lot to her family.
“There’s three bedrooms so there’s more room for me and the boys. My 12-year-old has been sharing a room for 12 years so he needs his own room,” says Chow. “I’m used to the area. The boys know their schools here so everything is very convenient. Downtown’s close.”
Brown says the average family has three children so being able to offer them a home with three bedrooms was very important to the organization.
“There’s a real gap in terms of affordable housing in Calgary about 76 per cent of it is two bedrooms or less and three kids, two bedrooms doesn’t work,” says Brown. “This entire building; it’s only ten units but it’s three bedrooms and we’re so thrilled about that because right away we’re going to be able to move some larger families into their own home.”
“It’s new. It’s open and it’s very bright,” says Chow. "Everything is just so new. When I first walked in it was just so overwhelming. I’m just thinking about the reactions of the boys.”
“We all fall into a crisis at some point in our life but when we don’t have a lot of resilience; when we have endured a lot of poverty in our lives; being able to get out of that is lie trying to get out the river when it was flooding ,” says Louise Gallagher the communications director for Inn from the Cold.” It took super human strength and it took all Calgarians to recoup what was lost in that flood so a place like this is that same kind of community space that people for whom homelessness and poverty have truly taken a toll on their lives can find themselves again and find safety and sanctuary.”
It’ll take about two months to move all the families into their new homes.
Journey House 1 is also located in Crescent Heights and preliminary discussions have begun for journey House 3.