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UPDATE  –  July 06, 2017: Councillor’s response

Dear Shaganappi Residents,

I met with both the VP of Housing and the CEO of HomeSpace, Martina and Bernadette last Thursday to discuss their recent Open House for the proposed housing project at 2520 17th Ave SW. Through the numerous amount of emails I’ve received from members of the Shaganappi community is was clear to me that there was a significant amount of frustration, uncertainty and concern associated with the proposal and I wanted to be sure to share these sentiments with HomeSpace. Also, HomeSpace shared with me that there were some misconceptions circulating within the community and I’d like to take this chance to share the outcome of our conversation and clear up some confusion.

Through our conversation it became clear that there were misunderstandings and miscommunication that has lead us to where we are today. HomeSpace assured me that as at the open house and as of right now, no non-profit organization has been chosen to run the space and thus, the specific form of housing program has not been decided. Their hopes for the open house were to gain a better sense of the community’s understanding of the housing spectrum and to get the neighbourhood’s feelings on the wide variety of housing options they offer.

The community has made it clear to both my office and to HomeSpace that they are open to discussing affordable housing options so long as they are not high acuity, or as many of the community members have been referencing: harm-reduction. In term of acuity, the higher the acuity, the higher the needs of their clients. This can mean more multidisciplinary support teams are on site as tenants can have multiple health challenges. HomeSpace has assured me that they have heard what the community isn’t comfortable with and are now focused on returning to the table to listen to what the community is open to.

Ultimately, following out meeting, I believe HomeSpace is focused on working with the community to discuss what various housing options that the community could be open to and to do so in a collaborative and open manner. I left last week’s meeting with a much better understanding of what HomeSpace was hoping to achieve and that they had heard and understood the community’s concerns and are better equipped to re-engage the neighbourhood.

Many of you have reached out to me personally, and I plan on getting back to all of you separately as well. If you still have questions or need some more clarification please feel free to reach out to my office at 403-265-2504 or caward8@calgary.ca.

Best,

Evan Woolley Councillor, Ward 8

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On June 19, 2017, HomeSpace – the Real Estate arm of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, hosted an open house to present and discuss their proposed 27 unit affordable housing project at the North East corner of 24A Street and 17th Avenue. In response to information provided, a Shaganappi Resident’s Committee was formed. That committee would like you to know about some work they are doing related to this project. See https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-harm-shaganappi.html for a petition and for a letter sent by the committee sent to the representatives of the social agencies involved.

The committee’s letter was in response to the proposal introduced by HomeSpace at the open house to build a harm reduction housing project at 2520 – 17 Avenue S.W. For further inquiries regarding the resident’s committee please contact Shaundra Carvey at noharm24a@gmail.com

 

On June 21, 2017  Councillor Woolley also sent a note to community members:

Earlier this week, HomeSpace – the Real Estate arm of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, hosted an open house to present and discuss their proposed 27 unit affordable housing project. Prior to this open house my office had been working closely with HomeSpace’s representatives and the Community Association to have a full understanding of the building’s intended use. Throughout those conversations, it was explained that the project would be affordable/attainable housing with shared communal kitchen space, amenity space and support services. I was surprised and extremely disappointed to discover that HomeSpace and the Calgary Homeless Foundation was seeking to have this location be a harm reduction facility but hadn’t notified our office or the Community Association. I have always been supportive of caring of those in our city who struggle with mental health and addictions and believe that everyone needs a home. With that in mind we need to acknowledge and plan for the challenges that may come for a community in supporting these individuals.

I believe that we all have a responsibility to be good neighbours to one another. In that same vein, relationships and trust are extremely important to me. Right now the trust of the community has been broken and its residents have been misled. I will be meeting with HomeSpace and the Calgary Homeless Foundation to address their lack of transparency and to re-affirm the community’s current stance.

Further to Councillor Woolley’s note to community members on this, also please feel free to reach out to his office at caward8@calgary.ca or 403-268-2504.

 

Harm Reduction Housing Project