More than 150 people were transported to emergency shelters, hospitals and other services across Calgary through the city’s emergency shelter shuttle service last weekend.
In a news release on Friday morning, the city said transit peace officers and members of the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) worked with Calgary Transit to transport unhoused Calgarians.
The city said more than 600 transports have been completed since the program started at the end of November.
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The emergency shuttle service is part of the city’s coordinated community extreme weather response (CCEWR), a four-year pilot program led by the Calgary Homeless Foundation and funded by the city to provide support to unhoused people facing extreme weather conditions.
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The CCEWR is trying to reduce barriers to accessing resources. Emergency shelters work with unhoused individuals to find alternate locations and additional services with the goal of finding safe and affordable housing, the city said.
The shuttle helps to move larger groups to the resources and support they need, reducing wait times for the DOAP team throughout the city during cold temperatures.
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“LRT stations are not appropriate places to seek shelter because they do not have the necessary amenities like beds, potable water or restrooms, nor do they have the resources to support people’s wellbeing,” said Will Fossen, deputy chief of transit public safety.
“Our city’s shelters have been operating at around 75 per cent capacity so far this winter. Demand increases during extreme weather conditions, but they have enough space to accommodate everyone that needs it.”
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