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'No human should have to live in that filth': Advocates call for improvements to Calgary Drop-In Centre


**WARNING: Story includes disturbing images**

Advocates for the homeless are calling for major improvements to some of the living spaces inside the Calgary Drop-In Centre. 

New photos from inside the downtown/East Village facility show a run-down bathroom and broken toilet on the second floor. 

Sandra Desmazes tells CTV News there are other rooms that are just as bad. 

"It's heartbreaking to go over there and to be in there, looking at all the lost souls," she said. "People are spread out on the ground. No human should have to live in that filth."

The centre is currently dealing with an influx of people during the cold snap that's led to overpopulation, which has no doubt had an impact on the services inside. 

Graffiti, damaged tiles and a clogged toilet in a second-floor washroom at the Calgary Drop-In Centre. (supplied)


The Drop-In Centre was unavailable for an interview, but did tell CTV News that priority renovations are coming soon to several floors. 

"We appreciate that shelter guests are concerned about the state of our facilities. All people deserve a safe, clean, warm place to stay," said Drop-In Centre officials in a statement. "Our staff work incredibly hard to support those who need housing and are also busy responding to the effects of the opioid crisis every day; the reality is that this work is very demanding and hard on our facilities, which are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year."

Damaged tiles and garbage along the floor of a Calgary Drop-In Centre washroom. (supplied)


Advocates say the centre is "completely understaffed," and needs more money to keep up with the increased demand. 

"There's just not enough funding to accommodate the population that needs help the most," Taylor Mueck said. "Until you're there, you don't really understand."

Mueck, who has stayed in the centre multiple times, says she feels for the staff and management who are working hard to help those in need. But without more funding, she says, their jobs are almost impossible. 

The recent provincial budget earmarked $3.9 million for facility renovations and modernizations. 

"Though our emergency shelter is not perfect, we are confident that our staff offer a high level of service to all vulnerable people and prioritize safety and dignity for all who come through our doors," the Drop-In Centre wrote.

Calgary Drop-In Centre washroom damage. (supplied) Top Stories

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