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I wake up in my warm, Lower Mount Royal apartment in Calgary, Alberta. It’s freezing cold outside. Do I really want to leave the warmth of my cozy home and venture out into the cold?

I pulled into the parking lot around 8:30 AM and got into line with eight or so other people to pay $3 at the parking meter conveniently located outside.

It was cold. About -16, that’s minus 20-something with the wind chill.

My thin, black gloves were no match for the cold. By the time it was my turn at the meter, my hands were numb. My face was stinging from the wind.

I headed back to my car to put the paid ticket on the dashboard. Where did I park my car?? My toes were beginning to freeze in my pretty little red shoes as I scanned the parking lot for my car.

Oh there it is!

With the ticket carefully placed face-up on the dash, I headed toward the Red and White Club to join 400+ others who were there for the launch of the updated 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.

As I retrieved my name tag, my hands started to thaw and my fingertips felt as if they were on fire.

And then it hit me.

Diana Krecsy. Photo by Robson Fletcher

Diana Krecsy. Photo by Robson Fletcher

I just spent twenty minutes in the cold. Twenty minutes. That’s all.

But I remember that there are thousands of homeless people in my city who spend a lot more than twenty minutes out in the cold each and every day!

There’s something intrinsically wrong with that.

And I’m glad I ventured out and came to the Community Summit on ending homelessness. Thanks for the invite Louise!

Following is what I learned either by the presentations given or information that was published in the handouts available at each table.

We face this situation (ending homelessness) head on, and some might even say, head strong. ~ Diana Krecsy, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

Krecsy went on to say that it will take more than collaboration to end homelessness in Calgary. It will take a Collective Impact.

There are five conditions that need to be met for Collective Impact:

  • Common Agenda
  • Shared measurement
  • Mutually reinforcing activities
  • Continuous Communication
  • Backbone support

There are three preconditions for Collective Impact:

  • Influential champions
  • Urgency of issue
  • Adequate resources

The updated plan to end homelessness identifies four priority directions. These are:

  1. Prevention & Integration
  2. Housing & Supports
  3. Coordination & Optimization
  4. People, Policy & Resources

This Plan is a call for community ownership and co-leadership to end homelessness. Whether we belong to the service provider community, government, the private sector, academia, media, faith community, have lived experience, or are members of the public – we all have a role to play to ensure our vision of ending homelessness becomes a reality.

Just as this scallop has many eyes, if we're missing an eye (stakeholder), there's a piece that we're blind to.

A scallop has many eyes. If it was missing even one, it’s ability to see the complete picture would be impaired. if we’re missing an eye (stakeholder), there’s a piece that we’re blind to as well.

*View the community’s Updated Plan to End Homelessness here: http://www.ihearthomeyyc.com/  

~

I wake up in my warm, Lower Mount Royal apartment in Calgary, Alberta. It’s freezing cold outside. Do I really want to leave the warmth of my cozy home and venture out into the cold? If I don’t…if we don’t take up the challenge, how will we ever see an end to homelessness?

~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~

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