Background

The Calgary Alpha House Society was established in 1981 as a committed response to a marginalized population of men and women who were addicted to alcohol or other drugs and living vulnerable on the streets of Calgary. We run four programs: Shelter, Outreach (DOAP/Encampment), Detox and Housing.

The Calgary Alpha House Society was formed in 1981We opened the Alpha House Shelter on January 18, 1982 in Victoria Park as a safe haven for clients and alternative to city cells for those affected. Alpha House innovatively combined both a shelter and a detox in the same building – sometimes referred to as a Social Shelter/Detox or a Community-Based Intox/Detox.

Shelter entry is based on alcohol/drug use and a Social Detox with staff trained in withdrawal management. This combination has helped many vulnerable Calgarians to recover from alcohol and drug abuse.

We maintain a small but effective volunteer base of Board Members and administration help.


Milestones in our History

  • In 1985, the team concept of client care is instituted with four teams made up of a Shift Supervisor, Senior Recovery Aide and a Recovery Aide.
  • In 1992, with the help of Royal Canadian Legion No. 1 and Alberta Public Works, a women’s dorm of four beds is opened in Detox.
  • Throughout our history we have maintained a small but effective volunteer base of Board members and administration help.
  • In June 1993, our first open Friday night Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is held. It remains a popular meeting to this day for men and women in the community.
  • In 2005, our Outreach program begins through a partnership with Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) and the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) is born.
  • That same year, we began operating as a 24-hour self-referral facility.
  • In 2005, a Development Permit Application is sent to the City of Calgary and this begins our Detox addition and Shelter renovation project.
  • In 2006-2008, with community partnerships, we operate a second shelter known as Alpha2 to meet the increased demand due to winter conditions.
  • Throughout Alpha House’s history our occupancy rates have remained steady from 85% to l20% for the Shelter and Detox programs.
  • Presently we run five programs: Shelter, Outreach (DOAP), Detox, Housing and Encampment.
  • 2012, we marked 30 years of community service.
  • 2012, opened our first Permanent Supportive Housing building.

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. Donating to us helps provide a variety of services to the local community.

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