Ending Homelessness


The efforts of the 7 cities have delivered significant results  with the support of the Government of Alberta, the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy, local government, service providers and the private sector.


As early adopters of the Housing First model and the first Canadian communities to develop and implement Plans to End Homelessness, the 7 cities have collectively housed and supported 8,748 previously homeless Albertans from 2009 to 2013. These approaches are grounded in community-level system planning and implementation, supported by government.



As result of these efforts, significant reductions in homelessness have emerged across the province. 2012 homelessness figures indicate that since 2008, when the 7 cities began implementing Housing First and local Plans to End Homelessness:

  • Edmonton's homeless population decreased by 29.4%;

  • Wood Buffalo's (Fort McMurray) homeless population decreased by 43.7%;

  • Lethbridge's homeless population decreased by 58.7%;

  • Medicine Hat reported a 32.0% reduction in shelter use;

  • Calgary's homeless population decreased by 1.9%, compared to biennial increases of 30% before 2008.


Collectively, Housing First clients served across the 7 cities have experienced significant reductions in public system usage:

  • 85% fewer days in jail

  • 64% fewer days in hospital

  • 60% fewer interactions with Emergency Medical Services

  • 60% fewer emergency room visits

  • 57% fewer interactions with police


Alberta remains the only province with a plan to end homelessness - one that has been recognized nationally for its success. Provincial commitment to community-based leadership and support for local expertise and efforts, as envisioned in the Plan for Alberta, has been an essential part of this success .


Link to A Plan for Alberta: Ending Homelessness in 10 Years