A hearty thank-you to everyone who attended and helped to make this year's conference a success! Be sure to check back later for information about what might be happening in 2019.
Welcome to the 2018 7 Cities Housing First Conference! This conference is an annual gathering that celebrates the achievements made in our efforts to end homelessness in the province of Alberta. This conference is an opportunity for Housing First practitioners, as well as leaders in the sector, to assemble, create dialogue, and collaboratively focus our efforts on being as effective and efficient as possible to end homelessness in our communities.
Conference Overview and Theme:
The 7 Cities Conference on Housing First and Homelessness is a place where practitioners, government, academia, and interested community members assemble, create dialogue, and collaboratively focus our efforts to end homelessness. This years' conference theme was A Decade of Progress, a Lifetime of Change.
We thank the Sheraton Red Deer hotel and the City of Red Deer for being great hosts!
Thanks to the City of Red Deer for hosting a festive evening on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Check out the following PDF for more info!
Tuesday, June 12
Wednesday, June 13
Thanks to our Keynotes for some great messages!
Dr. Alina Turner - Tuesday Morning
Dr. Alina Turner is the Principal of Turner Strategies, a consulting firm dedicated to accelerating social impact in Calgary and a Fellow at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. Alina is recognized as a leading researcher and thinker on social issues with proven implementation results. Her work on system planning is recognized as a leading practice and often called upon as a model across communities. Her drive and passion for this work is grounded in her lived experience of the social issues she continues to challenge in her professional work.
Alina has worked at an executive leadership level at both management and board of directors levels for the past 10 years. As VP Strategy at the Calgary Homeless Foundation, Alina led the implementation of Canada’s first Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS) and designed Calgary’s Housing First System of Care with $35 million in annual investments across 40 programs
Most recently, Alina founded the Turner Innovations, a social enterprise spinoff with HelpSeeker.org as its first product in a line of innovative technology-based solutions to complex social challenges.
Hon. Dr. Reg Crowshoe - Tuesday Afternoon
Dr. Reggie Crowshoe is a member of the Piikuni First Nation in Southern Alberta, where he formerly served as chief. Dr. Crowshoe has a long standing relationship with the University of Calgary and has generously shared and offered his assistance, ceremonial leadership, and traditional knowledge to students, The Native Centre and other faculties for many years. Dr. Crowshoe is widely recognized for his dedication to Piikuni artifacts, traditions, language, culture, and history, and, like his father the late Joseph Crowshoe, was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree by the University of Calgary in 2001. Dr. Crowshoe is also the founder of the Old Man River Cultural Society, and he authored the book “Akak’stiman, A Blackfoot Framework for Decision-Making and Mediation Processes”, published by University of Calgary Press in 2002.
Panel - Wednesday Morning
Dr. David Swann
Dr. David Swann was the Medical Officer of Health from 1988-2002, first elected 2004 in Calgary MV. MLA for four terms and Alberta Liberal Leader in 2008-09. Co-Chair of Premier’s panel reviewing Mental Health and Addiction services in AB, resulting in Valuing Mental Health report 2016. He is an advocate for integrated services for youth and adults with mental health issues and addictions.
Catharine is the Co-Executive Director of RainCity Housing, an organization that focuses on providing safe, secure housing options for people who have experienced homelessness, mental health and substance use issues and other forms of marginalization. She has been acknowledged for leading the largest research demonstration project in mental health and homelessness (At Home/Chez-Soi) with national policy, program and capacity impact. Catharine has extensive government relations experience, with a known track record of providing trusted advice to government. Her leadership style is characterized by optimism, transparency, and integrity. Catharine’s career reflects a focus on innovation, learning across diversity, and informing system change through evidence and evaluation.
Jaime Rogers is the Manager of the Homeless and Housing Development Department with the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society. Medicine Hat, Alberta has been recognized nationally and internationally for the significant strides that have been made towards ending homelessness. Jaime is charged with leading the oversight, implementation and monitoring of At Home in Medicine Hat – Our Plan to End Homelessness utilizing a housing first and systems planning approach.
Jaime holds a Master of Social Work from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary. She is also a certified Charrette Planner.
Tim Richter is the Founder, President & CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH). The CAEH leads a national movement of individuals, organizations and communities working together to end homelessness in Canada. Under his leadership, the CAEH has helped shape federal, provincial and local homelessness action and policy including the implementation of Housing First, hosted four highly successful National Conferences on Ending Homelessness, and launched the 20,000 Homes Campaign—a national movement working together to house 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people by July 1, 2018.
Prior to joining the CAEH, Tim was President & CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation charged with leading the implementation of Calgary's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness – the first plan of its kind in Canada. In the first four years of Calgary’s 10 Year Plan more than 4,000 homeless men, women and children were housed, 3,582 units of affordable housing were funded, and homelessness went down for the first time in 20 years of counting.
Tim received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History as well as a Bachelor of Applied Communications. He lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and three children.
Thick Data: Surfacing different kinds of outcomes to build flourishing lives - Wednesday Afternoon
Natalie Napier is lead coach at InWIthForward. She holds a BA in International Development, an MA in (Canadian) History, and abandoned an all-but-thesis MA in Philosophy of Education. She has worked in community economic development for over ten years, where she has helped found social enterprises and cooperatives. Natalie finds the human kind of problems the most irresistible (but will quickly walk away from a computer on the blink.) The ways that communities produce different opportunities, experiences, and connections is, in her opinion, just gripping.
Speaker Biographies (Alphabetical, first name)
And, of course, thanks to all our great speakers who committed to helping us have an informative conference!
A post-doctoral fellow in the School of Public Policy, Ali Jadidzadeh focuses his research on identifying the effective design of Housing First and emergency shelter programs intended to benefit and support those who are without permanent housing. Aside from understanding and developing effective solutions to public policy problems in homelessness sector, he has employed his statistics and econometrics skills in energy and monetary economics. He completed his Ph.D. degree in Economics from the University of Calgary in December 2015.
Alicia is a Research and Policy Analyst at Calgary Homeless Foundation. She has a Master of Social Work from the University of Calgary and a Master of Public Administration from Queen's University. She has a passion for public policy and social change.
Alcia Reynolds - Mains E4C RRH FSW
Alcia Reynolds-Mains is a trained counsellor with a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, and is passionate about helping people who are challenged by various issues related to homelessness, addictions and mental health. She loves to instill hope in people because she believes it is the launching pad to helping make a difference in their lives.
Alison Loewen - Team Lead at Peter Coyle Place
Alison has worked for the last 40 years in various capacities within social services including 17 years with government as well as work in the private and non-profit sectors. Working for the last ten years within housing, she managed a private facility in BC and then as Team Lead at Peter Coyle (TPFA). She has been an active member of the Older Adult Council of Calgary (OACC) sub-committee on Mental Health and Housing as well as the MAP Working Group, working closely with other Mental Health, addiction and housing service providers and community partners.
Dr. Alina Turner - Co-founder of HelpSeeker and Principal at Turner Strategies
Alysa Baumgardt, Housing Coordinator
Alysa has been working for McMan Youth, Family and Community Services for approximately three years. She started as a youth worker for a youth detox facility, then a group facilitator for a prevention program and now works as a housing coordinator for the Arcadia program. Alysa has always wanted to work with youth and do what she can to support and encourage resilience. This program gives her the opportunity to do just that.
Amanda Lee – The Red Deer Housing Team
The Red Deer Housing Team comes with over 20 years of experience in ending homelessness; focusing on the fidelity of the housing first intervention. The Red Deer Housing Team is extremely passionate about ending homelessness and believes housing is a right not a privilege. This team is incredibly compassionate, innovative, creative and knowledgeable and believes in having fun. The team believes it is a privilege to walk alongside individuals/families in their journey to end homelessness.
Aminda Galappaththi - Manager Client Services
Aminda Galappaththi is Manager of Client Services at Calgary Housing Company. Although fairly new to the world of public housing, he has spent over 10 years in the public sector in municipal services. Aminda is passionate about advocating for and supporting the need for affordable living solutions in Cities and is proud to be part of an organization and a team that care deeply not just about putting people in homes but about the positive impact we have on people and communities.
Andrea Ness - Team Lead Housing Access
Andrea Ness is the team lead of Homeward Trust's coordinated access team. She has been working within the housing and homelessness sector for over five years. Andrea is focused on increasing community collaboration in order to bring Edmonton's by-names list to functional zero.
Ashley Jordan - Youth Navigator
Ashley Jordan has been the Youth Navigator at Sunrise House since September 2016 and using her background in Psychology and Education has brought the program to where it is today. Ashley's passion for helping and truly meeting clients where they are has been her key to building strong relationships and ensuring they have access to the services and supports they need. Ashley is currently completing her Masters in Counselling degree.
Barb Barber - Executive Director
Barb had been with the Central Alberta Women's Outreach Society in Red Deer for the past 19 years (eight years as a social worker and the past 11 as the Executive Director). The focus of her work is in the areas of Domestic Violence, Homelessness and the effects of poverty on the lives of those in the community. She is a registered Social Worker and has a certificate in non-profit management.
Boris Lesar – Mustard Seed Calgary
Boris is Director of Clinical Operations, Housing, and Wellness and The Mustard Seed in Calgary. He is an adjunct faculty at the City University of Seattle and operates private psychological practice. Boris has worked in human services for over 20 years and has extensive experience in education, psychotherapy, and innovative leadership.
Brenda Wolitski – The Red Deer Housing Team
The Red Deer Housing Team comes with over 20 years of experience in ending homelessness; focusing on the fidelity of the housing first intervention. The Red Deer Housing Team is extremely passionate about ending homelessness and believes housing is a right not a privilege. This team is incredibly compassionate, innovative, creative, and knowledgeable and believes in having fun. The team believes it is a privilege to walk alongside individuals/families in their journey to end homelessness.
Candice Giammarino - System Planner, Calgary Homeless Foundation
Candice Giammarino is a System Planner for the Calgary Homeless Foundation. In Candice's current role she carries a Contract Management portfolio of CHF funded agencies serving Adults in Housing-First programming. Candice is also heavily involved with the coordination of the CAA program, coordinating Housing Strategist work and implementing special projects of CAA such as the Health Strategy and Housing First Graduates partnership work. Candice previously worked at the Calgary Alpha House Society as a Team Lead for the Alpha Housing program, leading a team of case workers housing persons experiencing chronic homelessness by utilizing Intensive Case Management to support individuals to achieve housing stability and independence.
Candise Knobbe - Manager of Housing, The Drop In & Rehab Centre Society
Candise Knobbe is the Manager of Housing with the Calgary Drop In and Rehab Centre (The D.I). In her current role she provides affordable housing units and supports to Calgarians experiencing chronic homelessness. Candise began her career as a volunteer with The D.I. in 2008 where she worked hard to learn the system of care and create partnerships to enhance it. Candise has a diploma in criminal justice with honors from Columbia College and was the 2017 Art Smith Award recipient for Front Line Employee.
Chelsi has been working with the Rapid Rehousing project for the last year. Chelsi works one on one with the youth in the program and focuses on natural support building as well as overall case management. Before joining the Rapid Rehousing team Chelsi worked extensively with youth and their families in group care as well as the Youth Transitions to Adulthood program.
Cheryle Sklapsky – Keys to Recovery
Cheryle has had many roles with Keys to Recovery in the 8 years she has been employed. Currently, Cheryle is the Intake and Resource Co-ordinator and is the first point of contact for all of our clients. Cheryle was one of the first members of CAA committee (Coordinated Access and Assessment) in Calgary. Cheryle has both lived experience with addiction and homelessness and was the recipient of the Arthur Smith award in 2013 for her tireless efforts in ending homelessness.
Chidom is a HMIS Specialist at the Calgary Homeless Foundation. He has a master's degree in public policy from the University of Calgary.
Christopher is the Landlord Relations Specialist with Homeward Trust Edmonton and has focused on researching and understanding the laws regarding tenancies to better aid Housing First in navigating difficult tenancy situations. Christopher also believes in the need for a lifelong approach to education and is currently enrolled at Grant MacEwan University for a second Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Political Science; utilizing learning from those courses to better understand the ongoing issues experienced by Housing First.
Cookie Hebert – Cosmos Group of Companies
Cookie Herbert has served in various leadership roles with Cosmos Group of Companies for over 25 years. Cookie has provided strong leadership, mentoring, and training for staff throughout her time at Cosmos. It is through her leadership abilities and vast knowledge of Disability Services that has been instrumental in the growth and continued success of the Community Options program that builds opportunities for persons with disabilities to be connected to their community through recreation, volunteering, and advocacy groups.
Damian Bottrell – The Red Deer Housing Team
The Red Deer Housing Team comes with over 20 years of experience in ending homelessness; focusing on the fidelity of the housing first intervention. The Red Deer Housing Team is extremely passionate about ending homelessness and believes housing is a right not a privilege. This team is incredibly compassionate, innovative, creative, and knowledgeable and believe in having fun. The team believes it is a privilege to walk alongside individuals/families in their journey to end homelessness.
Damian Collins - Associate Professor of Human Geography, University of Alberta
Damian Collins is a human geographer with particular interests in social inclusion, urban development and public health. His work explores the public aspects of contemporary social life - specifically public policies, public services and public spaces. He seeks to understand why these "public things" are important, and why we collectively devote so much effort to debating them. These debates occur at all scales, from informal conversations through to major constitutional challenges.
Daniel J. Dutton is a post-doctoral scholar at the School of Public Policy. His current research falls into three general categories: social and health economics, applied policy, and computational epidemiology. Most of his work is quantitative, utilizing large data sets and modeling strategies from economics and epidemiology. His primary interests are population-level exposures and their impact on poverty and health, how governments can address those exposures, and the distributional impacts of addressing those exposures.
Dee Ann - Executive Director
Dee Ann joined the ARDN as executive director in April 2009. After earning her B.Sc. (Biology) and M.Sc. (Plant Pathology) from Simon Fraser University, Dee Ann moved to Edmonton in 1994 to work with Alberta Agriculture. In 1998, she joined private industry to manage the Alberta operation of Integrated Crop Management Services (ICMS), Inc. In 2000, she moved to the Alberta Research Council in Vegreville where she worked first as a plant pathologist, and later in business development. In 2004, she joined the newly formed Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) as executive director, a position she held for over five years.
Donna Bishop - Cultural Connections Helper
Donna has worked for 25 years in corrections and developed with the team the PATHWAYS Aboriginal Cultural Program in Bowden Institution, she developed specialized programming, done extensive work with incarcerated individuals with FASD and medicine wheel for case management.
When human beings experience poverty, homelessness and severe stress and trauma that result from such experiences. It is not un common for their lives to unravel. My passion is to work with such people, to provide them with the immediate support and connect them to resources necessary to empower them to find answers to their life challenges. My education background includes: A BSc in nursing from Muhimbili University of health and allied Sciences- School of nursing and a graduate Diploma in Community Based Development from Saint Francis Xavier University- Antigonish, Nova Scotia. I am an MBA student- Community Economic Development- Cape Breton University- Edmonton Cohort. I have been working as an intake Coordinator for E4C Support office. Youth Transition Support worker- E4C youth Housing programs, Community Services Coordinator at Bay Shore home health and HIV/AIDS prevention of mother to Child transmission- Project coordinator. I am happily married and a mother to four young adults.
Drewe Rowbotham E4C - RRH Program Manager
Drewe Rowbotham is a passionate Housing First advocate who believes integration and innovation are key to ending homelessness. He is has been working with E4C to end homelessness and alleviate poverty for six years.
Elliott Young - Senior Manager, Community & Stakeholder Engagement
Elliott Young is a Nehiyaw (Cree) from Ermineskin Cree Nation; which is one of the four nations from Maskwacis. He leads the community and stakeholder engagement and Indigenous Relations at Homeward Trust. Throughout his career, Elliott has engaged with youth, service providers, government, First Nation leadership, and community to help address social issues impacting Indigenous people in Alberta.
Emily Wong - Research and Evaluation Manager
Emily Wong is passionate about improving the lives of vulnerable and marginalized populations and has been working in research and policy analysis for various non-profit organizations and think tanks in Ontario since graduating from the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. As the Research and Evaluation Manager at CUPS, she continues to work behind the scenes to apply and contribute to the research of early brain development, evaluate CUPS' programs for improved effectiveness and efficiency, and bridge the gap between research and action.
Elise is the Team Leader with Keys to Recovery and has worked in the housing first field for six years. Elise has lived experience with addiction, mental illness and homelessness.
Dr. Eric Weissman
Eric Weissman PhD is a sociology instructor and well-known homelessness/housing scholar. He has published two books and made several documentary films that explore Housing First in many different cities, and includes a serious long term study of intentional tiny home communities. These communities are rapidly becoming art of the Housing First paradigm in many cities in the US and they applicability to the Canadian context is something Weissman examines. As well, he has just started a new study on student homelessness in Canada, is a co-author of the Canadian Definition of Indigenous Homelessness and works closely with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness.
Faye Archer Wilson - M.Ed. C.C.C
Faye Archer Wilson is a certified counsellor and mental health clinician with Woods Homes in Calgary, AB. She provides mobile mental health supports to young people connected with Housing First programs. Specializing in complex trauma and social justice, Faye uses Emotion-Focused and Integrative approaches.
Gaynor Holec - City of Grande Prairie
Gaynor is a Masters of Social Work student and the group and group coordinator of Grande Prairie’s lived Experienced Voice of the Voiceless group.
Gio Dolcecore - RSW MSW
Gio Dolcecore is a registered social worker and mental health clinician. Gio specializes in working with complex trauma, including those associated with addictions, childhood traumas, poverty and homelessness. Gio is also a gender and sexuality specialist, offering affirmative and narrative approaches to those with diverse identities.
Greg Dewling - CEO, Capital Region Housing
Greg Dewling is CEO of Capital Region Housing in Edmonton. He is the President of Alberta Public Housing Administrators Association and serves on the Interagency Council for Homelessness with the ministry of Human Services. He also serves as vice-chair on the board of directors for the Trans Alta Tri Leisure Centre in Spruce Grove.
Greg Fitch – Cosmos Group of Companies
Greg Fitch has seventeen years of experience in Career and Employment Services. With a background and education in Psychology, English and Corporate Journalism, Greg worked for various agencies throughout Alberta and has even presented at conferences in the United States on Immigration and Employment solutions. Greg’s experience in employment services includes working with Disability Services, Trades, Immigration, Corporate, Education and Military. Greg has a great passion for teaching and a strong belief that everyone has the ability to reach their full potential.
Harold Pliszka - MSW, Manager of Clinical Services & Programs
Harold is a structural social worker with a vested interest in working with persons living on the margins of society, as captured by working at the Calgary Drop-In Centre, and as a board member for both Calgary Outlink and Calgary Keys to Recovery Society. Harold's work is guided by his keen interest in supporting women and families as they leave domestic violence situations while also limiting the factors leading up to homelessness.
Hayley Lynch - MSW Candidate & Practicum Student, Mental Health Team
Hayley Lynch is a Master of Social Work student, specializing in International and Community Development at the University of Calgary. She is currently completing her practicum placement with Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society. Hayley's background in the social service sector includes working with at-risk kids and youth, disability, and community development. She is committed to working with oppressed groups and advocating for structural change, particularly in the areas of homelessness and domestic violence.
Jaime Jackson - Outreach Worker
Jaime Jackson is the outreach worker with Alberta Health Services, the agency supporting residents in two of HomeSpace's buildings.
Jaime Rogers - Manager of the Homeless and Housing Development Department, Medicine Hat Community Housing Society
Jaime Rogers is the Manager of the Homeless and Housing Development Department with the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society. She is also member of the Alberta Interagency Council on Homelessness, and the 7 Cities on Housing and Homelessness. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary.
Jarrod Bayne - Chief Strategy Officer
Jarrod Bayne is an Edmonton-based professional and family man, currently serving as Chief Strategy Officer at Homeward Trust Edmonton. Within this dynamic organization, he oversees how evidence,
engagement, communication and data can advance community efforts to end homelessness.
Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff - Professor of Social Work, University of Calgary
Prior to joining the University of Calgary, Jeannette was Director for Research at Pathways to Housing, the housing first program in New York City. Her current research projects look at pandemic preparedness in homeless sectors across Canada, the development of instruments to assess risk of homelessness and the health of rough sleepers.
Jeff Gray - Executive Director
Jeff is an inspiring former homeless teen turned advocate and Executive Director of Cornerstone Youth Centre, an at-risk youth development centre aimed at preventing homelessness. Jeff Co-Chairs Calgary's Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness' Prevention Sub Committee, and has worked with Inn From The Cold, The Mustard Seed, Rockyview School Division, and has been a Ted Talk Presenter. Jeff has toured the country with bands such as Hedley, and has shared his life story of resiliency across Canada.
Jennifer Rideout - Housing First Supervisor
Jennifer Rideout has been a part of the Housing First Program and the Community Plan on Homelessness since May 2011. Her background is in Community services and Youth / Adult Corrections in administering conceptual level testing for housing placements.
Jeremy Reimer - Financial Administrator
Jeremy Reimer has been a front line staff at E4C Financial Management Hub for over 5 years. A passion for justice, dignity and helping others has shaped his work with individuals struggling with housing stability and mental illness. His Bachelor of Commerce degree and years of experience in the audit and retail financial industries provides him with a keen proficiency with numbers and superior knowledge and navigational experience of the financial world.
Jesika Lefebvre – Bissell Centre
Jesika Lefebvre is the Manager of Housing Services at Bissell Centre. With her education in Management and Psychology, she has been working within the housing sector in inner city Edmonton for 5 years. Bissell Centre’s mission is to end poverty in our city and Jesika’s work has been in reducing barriers and supporting individuals prosper and find their way out of homelessness.
Jonn Kmech - ARDN
Jonn Kmech is the Program Manager for Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) for the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN), a not-for-profit organisation whose membership is currently comprised of 9 public Albertan universities and colleges. Jonn joined the ARDN in July 2016 and manages the Rural and Remote stream of HPS funding for the province, which ARDN has administered since 2013, covering all areas of the province outside the 7 Cities. He works with various community organizations and not-for-profits in Alberta providing support for them as they implement their HPS projects and work towards ending rural and remote homelessness around the province. He was involved in the creation and organization of the Alberta Rural Coalition on Housing and Homelessness (ARCH2), a committee currently composed of 20 communities and non-profits across the province working together on rural housing and homelessness issues. He also provided input on the creation of the ARDN's Step-by-Step Guide to Estimate Rural Homelessness, written by his colleague Zain Abedin and published in 2017.
Born in Calgary, Jonn grew up in Brooks, Alberta, moving to Edmonton in 2005. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from the University of Alberta and served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Gateway, the student newspaper at the U of A, in 2010-2011. Prior to the ARDN, he worked as a research assistant in the UofA’s Department of Psychiatry for three years. In his spare time, Jonn volunteers for Amnesty International and the Canadian Mental Health Association. His interests include politics, psychology, philosophy, human and animal rights, film, and music (particularly punk).
Jordon Sweetnam - Social Worker
Jordon Sweetnam is a Social Worker and has been practicing for eight years. He comes to Edmonton via Kamloops as a strong, passionate advocate and system navigator for individuals who have been systemically marginalized. He is a community practitioner who adds clinical judgment, assessment, and advisory capacity to the transitional housing initiative. Jordon is employed by AHS and is an essential part of the integrated team.
Kate Duggan - Case Manager- Calgary Drop-In Centre (The DI)
Kate Duggan has recently transitioned from frontline shelter roles into leadership roles within the Drop-In Centre’s new case management department. Kate has been working on complex clients since September of 2017.
Ken Armstrong is the Oskapewis/Indigenous Cultural and Educational Helper at Homeward Trust Edmonton. He has worked with people experiencing homelessness and Indigenous communities in various capacities, including street outreach, since 2003. Ken was a health support worker with the Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program for four years. Before coming to Homeward Trust, Ken was the Indigenous Cultural and Spiritual Facilitator with Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society's Housing First team. Ken is also an award-winning photojournalist whose photographic journey has taken him across Canada documenting our country's homeless and Indigenous populations. Ken grew up in Winnipeg and is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba.
Kendall Panther Bone - Coordinator, Siksika Rebuild Team
Kendall Panther Bone is Coordinator of the Siksika Rebuild Team. He was a Siksika Councillor for multiple terms.
Kerry Lowe -
Kerry Lowe's downtime involves a yoga mat, boxing gloves, hiking boots, and her walking coach Smooch the Pooch. She achieves balance between these unrelated activities by going to yoga at lunch, boxing after work, and hiking with Smooch. Both Kerry and Smooch have their own backpacks.
Kim Kakakaway - Coordinator of Home Fire
Kim Kakakaway is the Coordinator for the Home Fire Program with Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary and has worked with the agency for six years. Home Fire is a Housing First program for Indigenous youth between the ages of 16 - 24 who are experiencing homelessness. In this program she creates a home where they can begin to heal, build community and reconnect with culture and family. Kim is Cree, from Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan and has lived in Calgary from a young age. Kim has been involved with Indigenous youth work for over 10 years. She has volunteered for over seven years in her community with youth who are living in some of the most impoverished conditions in Alberta. Kim has a passion for empowering Indigenous youth to begin their healing journey by providing them hope, and connecting them back to their families and communities.
In addition to being a gym rat and a belly dancer, Kimberley MacKinnon is a Certified Hypnotherapist, an Reiki Master, and an adoptive mom to fur babies. She is a lifelong learner, and is well on her way to completing a Certificate in becoming a Mindfulness Practitioner.
Kirsten Boda - Research and Reporting Coordinator
Kirsten Boda recently graduated from the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary with her Master in Public Policy. With a background in psychology and sociology and experience as a caseworker for the individuals experiencing homelessness in Calgary, Kirsten recently returned to the non-profit world to work for CUPS as the Research and Reporting Coordinator. Kirsten is passionate about upstream prevention that focuses on healthy child-development and spreading information to make this happen within the community.
Kristen is a Graduate Rent Subsidy Program Specialist helping clients maintain housing through budgeting, returning to work, and providing ongoing case management supports.
Kristin Johnston - Sr. Coordinator of Housing First
Kristin Johnston has worked with Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary for the past 14 years in numerous capacities. She is currently the Senior Coordinator of Housing First, with a specific focus on Aura, a Housing First program for LGBTQ2S+ youth. Kristin works with young people to develop innovative solutions to complex social issues. She is also the Chair of the LGBTQ2S+ Working Group which is part of the initiative to create safer spaces within Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary. She is passionate about creating safer spaces for children, youth and families, developing programs that foster independence, natural supports and client centered case management.
Kyla Fisher –Homeless Count Coordinator, Homeward Trust Edmonton
Kyla was the Homeless Count Coordinator for Edmonton's 13th Point-In-Time Count of people experiencing homelessness. She holds a Master's Degree in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Alberta. She is passionate about building community and making it a welcoming place for all to call home.
Kyle Ovens - Case Manager- Calgary Drop-In Centre (The DI)
Kyle Ovens has recently transitioned from frontline shelter roles into leadership roles within the Drop-In Centre’s new case management department. Kyle has worked with complex clients since September of 2017.
Lance Tailfeathers - Blood Tribe Councillor
Lance Tailfeathers is a Tribal Councillor for Kainai First Nation (Blood Tribe). His portfolios include housing, health and economic development.
Landon Hildebrand - Registered Psychologist, Director of Housing and Clinical Development
Landon Hildebrand is a registered psychologist and the director of housing and clinical development at the Mustard Seed in Edmonton. Landon has worked in private practice, in community health clinics through AHS in both the Northern and Central regions, and has also taught as an adjunct faculty through Providence Seminary. Landon is currently working with Mustard Seed Edmonton to create a family health clinic in the Edmonton region which will provide accessible multidisciplinary, integrated mental and physical health services for the community.
Laura works for CUPS Key Case Management team in a housing harm reduction program applying trauma informed principles to her one-on-one work with clients. She also has a great interest in adverse childhood experiences and their correlation with homelessness.
Lisa Harris' career in the non-profit sector has spanned over 15 years with experience in family, individual and community work in New York City and Calgary. Lisa is very passionate about walking along side others as they bring about change in their lives and in their community. Lisa has worked with people experiencing homelessness, as well as women involved in domestic violence and the sex trade. Her experience has varied from working with individuals and families with complex mental health needs as well as supervising programs that work directly with youth between the ages of 15-24. Currently, Lisa is the Program Manager for Youth Housing at the Calgary John Howard Society. Lisa's credentials are: MPS (Master of Professional Studies: major in counselling and urban ministry) as well as training in Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change and Trauma Informed Practice.
Lyle Boehlke - Case Manager – The Alex
Lyle Boehlke is an extremely experienced case manager who is well versed in a multitude of housing programs throughout the homeless sector in Calgary and is currently based out of Abbeydale, a Permanent Supportive Housing building through the Alex. He has been working with complex clients since September of 2017.
Mandie Dening - Project Manager
Mandie Dening is a Social Worker with a Master's Degree specializing in leadership. She has worked in the Inner City for over 10 years in a variety of roles ranging from frontline, program management, research and program design and development and implementation. Her lived experience of trauma and related mental illness and addictions is a significant driver in her passion for social justice and has deeply informed the development of the programs through the partnership between E4C and AHS.
Marie Morrison - Director 20KHomes Campaign
Marie Morrison is currently the Director of the 20,000 Homes Campaign with the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. Prior to this, Marie worked for 15 years with the Region of Waterloo Housing Services managing federal, provincial and local funding and working with community partners to plan, design and implement a local housing stability system designed to end homelessness. In addition to participation and of numerous federal and provincial advisory groups, Marie is a fellow with the Institute for Global Homelessness Leadership Program.
Martina Jileckova - CEO, Horizon Housing Society
Martina Jileckova is CEO of Horizon Housing Society in Calgary. Formerly Vice President of HomeSpace Society, Martina has 20 years of progressively senior leadership experience in the real estate sector. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Community Housing Affordability Collective and has provided leadership on the planning committee for the National Housing Day's Opening Doors Conference.
Mary Eggleton - Psychological Health & Safety Advisor
Mary Eggleton has worked in prevention education for over 12 years focusing on mental health, addictions, bullying, violence and suicide prevention. The past six years have been devoted to Suicide Information and Education Services and helping to bring awareness to mental health concerns and building resilience in individuals. Mary is a seasoned facilitator experienced with audiences of all ages and across all industries. Servicing all of Central Alberta, Mary is a Certified Psychological Health & Safety Advisor assisting with providing the skills and tools necessary to support our work and school environments become mental health positive.
Meagan Bell – Strategic Business
Meaghan holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Calgary and over the past eight years has worked in the area of human services. Ms. Bell’s work has largely been focused on research, policy and evaluation in the areas of housing and homelessness, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, family violence, and health. Her professional experience includes positions with the Calgary Homeless Foundation, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and Calgary Housing.
Michael Grant - CHF, Community Engagement Specialist
Created in July 2012, the Client Action Committee (CAC) is a group of individuals with the lived experience of homelessness who meet multiple times per month to promote social justice and awareness for the homeless community of Calgary. They also act as an advisory committee to the Calgary Homeless Foundation to make their practice and policy as client centered and informed as possible. Since its inception, over 100 different participants have sat at the table to work on a variety of different projects (i.e. The Homeless Charter of Rights, Longest Night of the Year memorial etc.) and provided consultation, advice, advocacy, and public speaking opportunities.
Michelle Muchetu – HIV Edmonton
Moved to Canada in 2001 from Zimbabwe and has a Diploma in Social Work NorQuest College. She lived in Montreal until moving to Edmonton in 2011. Worked in various call centers as a customer service representative until 2015. Got involved with HIV Edmonton since 2012 when they had a Dynamics of HIV workshop. This ignited a huge curiosity on the advances that have been made in treatment of HIV. I realized that it is no longer a death sentence like in the past. Through participating in workshops, I realized that I needed the education to support my interest. This led me to social work. I was fortunate to land a job at HIV Edmonton just as I graduated. I have since learned that there is still stigma around HIV. Hope that with more education , there would be a reduction in stigma and isolation of people living with HIV.
Natoshia Bastien - First Nations Housing Consultant
Natoshia Bastien is First Nations Housing Consultant. She works very closely with Treaty 6, 7 and 8.
Nick was born in Edmonton and raised on an acreage an hour outside of the city. Nick's career has taken him across Canada, to England and Abu Dhabi and back again as he has worked to bring hope to vulnerable populations through education, sport and most recently through housing. Nick has been the director of the YMCA's Homeward Bound program since the end of 2015 and has been working diligently to guide the program to a holistic approach to healing for their participants. Nick’s dream is to not only help get vulnerable people off the streets but help them to build a home and community.
Nick Falvo is Director of Research and Data at the Calgary Homeless Foundation. His area of research is social policy, with a focus on poverty, housing, homelessness and social assistance. Nick has a PhD in public policy from Carleton University.
Pam VanVugt – Supervisor, Parent Child Assistance Program (PCAP)
Pam VanVugt has been the supervisor of the Parent Child Assistance Program (P-CAP) in Calgary for the past 16 years. She now supervises both the original program and the Expanded Enrolment program which works with parents who have been diagnosed or are suspected of having an FASD who are parenting their own children. Pam is the past Co-Chair for the Calgary Fetal Alcohol Network and an active member of the P-CAP Council. Pam has worked for McMan Community Services for 22 years in a variety of positions and has been a Sexuality Educator for 36 years. Pam has a B.A. in Psychology.
Patrycja Kujawa - Manager, Data Analytics
Patrycja Kujawa is the Manager of Data and Analytics at Homeward Trust. She is a seasoned economist who loves using data to tell stories about people and their worlds.
Phaidra Jenner - Coordinator of Supported Referrals
Phaidra Jenner is the Coordinator of Supported Referrals for Homeward Trust Edmonton. She has been working in the housing and homelessness sector since 2011. Phaidra is passionate about innovative solutions to addressing homelessness.
Raynell McDonough – City of Calgary
Raynell McDonough is an Issue Strategist with Calgary Neighbourhoods at The City of Calgary. She is currently leading the implementation of the cross-departmental, community-wide Age-Friendly Calgary initiative to prepare for an aging population. Raynell holds a BA in Religious Studies from McGill University, and a BSW and MSW with a concentration in gerontology from the University of Calgary. She has been working in the field of gerontology in Calgary for the past 15 years.
Rina McDermott - Lead Housing Liaison
Rina McDermott is the Lead Housing Liaison with HomeSpace and was instrumental in creating, defining and refining this position. She has an extensive background in the private and not-for-profit housing market and is an avid volunteer within the sector.
Renee Iverson is currently the Manager, Clinical Services and Program Supports at Homeward Trust Edmonton. This includes over site of Permanent Supportive Housing, Assertive Community Treatment, support programs, and training. Renee holds a Master of Science from St Cloud State University in Minnesota and identifies as a queer woman utilizing the pronouns she, her, and hers.
Sarah Woodgate - President, Calgary Housing Company
Sarah Woodgate is President of Calgary Housing Company. An urban planner, she has more than 20 years of experience in affordable housing and land development. In 2014, she was named one of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue magazine.
Shane Rempel – System Planner at Calgary Homeless Foundation
Shane Rempel is a co-facilitator of the Youth Advisory Table, and System Planner for youth housing and support programs with the Calgary Homeless Foundation. He is also Co-Chair of Calgary's Youth Sector who is responsible for Calgary's Plan to End and Prevent Youth Homelessness. Shane is an active participant in collective impact initiatives to work with community partners and stakeholders to end and prevent homelessness in Calgary.
Sophie Jassat - Parent Advocate PCAP
Sophie Jassat has worked in the Homeless sector since 2010, using the Housing First Model with youth, adults and families. In August 2015, Sophie began working in the PCAP-EE program. Sophie is passionate about getting the best services for her clients and advocates for an understanding of the barriers faced by the population she works with around housing, money and time management, mental health and addictions. Sophie has worked with McMan Calgary; Fort McMurray (2010-present) and Wood Buffalo HIV and AIDS (2009-2010). Sophie has a BSW and a MSW in International and Community Development.
Suzanne Leacock (AHS)
Suzanne Leacock is an Addiction Counselor at Alberta Health Services, Youth Addiction Services and has worked with high risk youth, families, and community partners who work with these youth for over 20 years. Her current role as a Safe Communities Mobile Counselor includes client work, consultation and community capacity building.
Steven Richardson - System Planner, Calgary Homeless Foundation
Steven Richardson: Steven Richardson is a System Planner for the Calgary Homeless Foundation, in Steven's current role he works with funded agencies to create efficiencies within their scattered site housing programs. Steven previously worked at Calgary Alpha House Society as a Housing Locator where he worked with persons experiencing homelessness to obtain housing, while also engaging with landlords to resolve any tenancy issues that arouse. Steven has a MSc. in International Security from the University of Bristol, as well as, a BA in Sociology and Law and Society from the University of Calgary.
Tamara van Rensburg-
Tamara van Rensburg comes to us from Barbados' sunny shores, where she fills her soul with peace on sunny beaches and calm seas. Health and well-being play a big role in her life, which she accomplishes through healthy eating, exercising and massages. She is most comfortable spending warm summer days with her family in nature, often pranking the people she loves.
Tamara Woldegebreal - Youth Programs Coordinator
Tamara completed her education in Human Services and became certified with the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta in 2016. She has been working with high risk youth in Edmonton for the last five years with the last two at HT.
Travis Turner - Co-founder of HelpSeeker and Chief Operating Office at Turner Innovations
Tricia Hicks - Case Manager, TBD-Complex Case Coordinator
With a background in Child and Youth Care from MacEwan University, Tricia has worked with youth in various capacities over the past five years, and is currently the Case Manager of e4c's Safe Spaces pilot project.
Tanya Wald - Executive Director
Tanya Wald has been involved in not-for-profit development and leadership in our community for nearly twenty years. This experience, coupled with her Master's degree in Social Work, has been instrumental in her current position as Executive Director of the Grande Prairie Youth Emergency Shelter Society which operates Sunrise House. With a focus on client driven best practices and long term sustainability, she has guided the organization to success with enhanced community partnerships and effective policy development.
Tayler Schenkeveld - BA DKATI
Tayler Schenkeveld is a Metis woman originally from Winnipeg, MB. She is a graduate of the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute in Nelson, BC and currently resides in Calgary, AB. Tayler works as a Cultural Support Specialist and Art Therapist in the Pathways to Housing program at the Alex Community Health Centre in Calgary, AB.
Dr. Van Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen is an inner city Family Physician and Health Director for Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS). CUPS is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income Calgarians with health, housing and education supports. She has an interest in enhancing community collaborations in the care of vulnerable populations in the areas of harm reduction, substance use, mental health and complex care.
Victoria Maldonado - MSW, RSW, Team Leader
Victoria has been working in the non-profit sector in Calgary since 2005 and in housing and homelessness since 2009. She has the pleasure of working with both a secondary prevention team and a tertiary prevention team at Aspen. She is passionate about creating positive, therapeutic, and practical supports to meet the need of each person experiencing housing crisis and homelessness.
Violet Bird - Program Manager
Violet Bird has worked in the inner city for over 25 years with a variety of roles from frontline housing first staff, manager of an inner city shelter and current program manager of E4C Financial Management Hub. Her work with individuals experiencing trauma has shaped her passion for wholeness, empowerment and advocacy. As a manager she strives to lead a dynamic team of financial minds and compassionate hearts through the ever changing landscape of housing support and financial stability.
A Decade of Progress, a Lifetime of Change.
Transformative action in ending homelessness.
Learn. Share. Inspire.
7 cities Conference on Housing First and Homelessness: A Decade of Progress, a Lifetime of Change (June 11 - 13, 2018)
7 cities Conference on Housing First and Homelessness (June 7 - 9, 2017)
7 cities Housing First and Homelessness Conference (May 4 - 6, 2016)
7 cities Leadership Summit on Housing and Homelessness (November 2015)
7 cities Housing First Conference (May 6 - 8, 2015)
7 cities Housing First Practitioners Workshop and Awards (May 29 - 30, 2014)
7 cities Retreat (October 18-19, 2012)
Team Lead Conference (September 6-7, 2012)
Leadership Summit (April 16 - 18, 2012)
Alberta Addiction and Mental Health Strategy by Silvia Vajushi Presentation
Disordered Dependencies: The Impact of Language Loss and Residential Schooling on Indigenous Peoples by Leona Makokis Presentation
Healing Through Stories: A Journey of Decolonization by Leona Makokis Presentation
Stop Start Continue by 7 Cities on Housing and Homelessness Document
7 cities meets regularly to support the advancement of each other’s plans, resolve significant issues or challenges and provide a forum for regular dialogue with government partners. In addition, 7 cities has played a lead role in organizing conferences and workshops to build the capacity of communities across Alberta to end homelessness. Through participation at national and international events members of 7 cities have both advanced our province’s exposure to best practices and been able to share the incredible success of the Province’s 10 year plans with other jurisdictions.