Calgary Alpha House Society and the RESOLVE Campaign
Alpha House is a non-profit charitable agency that provides safe and caring environments for individuals whose lives are affected by alcohol and other drug dependencies. Established in 1981, it runs outreach programs, a shelter program, a detox program and a housing program with case management support at three apartment buildings; including one for Aboriginal People, one for chronically homeless men and women, and one for Canadian veterans. The volunteer program focus includes corporate and individual support.
RESOLVE Project: The Women’s Harm Reduction Facility, a new, 30-unit apartment building for women who have experienced long-term or frequent homelessness. The facility would provide safe and stable housing for women affected by addiction, mental health issues and poverty, with trauma-sensitive programs designed with differences in cultures in mind.
“The women we want to support through this project are mothers, daughters, sisters — they are more vulnerable, yet their needs are often overlooked. Their mortality rate is 10 times higher than the general population. Through RESOLVE, we’re hoping to reduce the rate of mortality for the women we serve.” — Kathy Christiansen, Executive DirectorWithout change there would be no butterflies updated jan. 2014
Our mission is to provide a safe and caring environment for individuals whose lives are affected by alcohol and other drug dependencies. We seek to provide hope and service through the promotion of well-being through our programs:
Alpha House Services:
Services at Alpha House are consistently delivered from a social model that respects the clients’ right to self determination as they address the impact of alcoholism and addiction in their lives. We strive to develop relationships of trust with our clients working on client identified issues from withdrawal management to mental health concerns, from treatment to housing needs. We seek to provide hope through direct service and the promotion of well-being.
Through our partnerships with other agencies we seek to reduce duplication of services and to remove barriers for our clients.
As a non profit charitable agency we remain indebted to our funders and to the governance of our Board.
Alpha House Programs:
Outreach at Alpha House is provided through our Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership Team or the Alpha DOAP Services team. This team has evolved into a 22 hour outreach program Monday to Friday (21:00 to 7:00 Saturday and Sunday) that links the client with a broad range of community services across the city. On average the Alpha DOAP team conducts 1650 transports a month. The Alpha DOAP Encampment Team is responsible for assisting rough sleepers and other Alpha House clients to find housing.
Volunteer services at Alpha House although small have provided countless hours important to our programs. In 2011-2012 our volunteers worked in our Detox, Shelter, and N’Th Shelter Food Program and were recruited for our Alpha Housing Program. Volunteers have built our web site pages, assisted in our self-help groups and have given us insight on our committees. We are very appreciative of them.
The Shelter at Alpha House is a 24 hour, 7 day a week program. Clients are welcomed at any time of the day or night. In addition to self referrals we receive daily referrals from other addiction services, police and emergency medical services, hospitals and other agencies. In 2011 – 2012 we successfully managed and staffed a winter response that sheltered up to 165 clients nightly. We truly provide a safe and caring program in our shelter.
Our Detox Program at Alpha House has room for 30 clients to safely withdraw from alcohol and other drugs and transition to treatment. Our housing program has an additional 12 transitional beds in our Detox to safely place clients in need into permanent housing. In Detox we provide acupuncture for withdrawal, on site nursing as needed, weekly Sweat Lodges and an evolving Arts and Crafts program among our services.
The Alpha Housing Program since its inception has housed over 300 clients. In 2011- 2012 we opened a housing project for 15 Veterans. Also in 2012 our Alpha House Housing program received full program accreditation. Together with Our Alpha Encampment Team that works outreach directly with rough sleepers and works closely with potential landlords, the Alpha House Housing program has shown that the Calgary Homeless Foundation 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness is certainly a viable and attainable goal.
As we meet the client in the change process we use three primary tools: a Harm Reduction philosophy, a Stages of Change model and Self Help recovery. (See our Resource and Links page.)
Our unofficial theme is “If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies" with the Butterfly as our metaphorical symbol. As the quote above suggests change is inevitable. We strive to respect each person and their own ongoing change process which is true for them.