Budget cuts to the Calgary Homeless Foundation could put the future of the DOAP Team at risk, officials said this week.

A letter posted to social media by Alpha House executive director Kathy Christiansen says the Calgary Homeless Foundation, which funds the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership, or DOAP Team, received an eight per cent cut in provincial funding which “is raising questions about the future of our DOAP Team and the implications for the people we serve and our broader community.”

“As a result, the CHF has to make some unanticipated changes in funding allocations,” she wrote.

“Four of their funded programs not directly related to housing will see reductions and our Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) Team is among these programs.”

Established in 2005, the DOAP Team is a mobile outreach program in the inner city, helping people under the influence of drugs or alcohol access shelters, detox centers or housing.

“The DOAP team is an established and integral part of the response to street-level issues, significantly reducing the impact of public intoxication and homelessness on the broader community and public systems,” wrote Christiansen.

“Through DOAP, we can divert people away from inappropriate use of emergency services. There is no other team doing this work in the city, it will almost certainly get offloaded onto an already stretched public service system (Calgary Police Service and Emergency Medical Service).”

In 2018, the DOAP Team conducted over 20,700 transports, an average of 57 per day, and so far this year that has increased to an average of 89 transports per day, said Christiansen.

Christiansen said they can maintain the current level of service until spring and officials are approaching various levels of government seeking funding past April 2020.