Calgary’s aboriginal homeless numbers on the rise
New plan aims to decrease the number of aboriginal homeless by 2018
A group in Calgary says the city's 10-year plan to end homelessness isn't working for aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal Standing Committee on housing and homelessness says the problems are unique to the aboriginal community. It says issues like residential school experiences, racism, the Indian Act or being away from their home reserve have altered many aboriginal people's lives.
It's recommending a greater emphasis be put on training for agencies that work with the homeless, in order to help them better understand the needs of aboriginal people.
"I think just creating a broader awareness and looking at what success models might have worked across this country as well," said committee member Lowa Beebe.
Aboriginal people make up just 2.5 per cent of Calgary's population but 38 per cent of the city's homeless.
Jordan Hamilton with the Calgary Drop-in Centre says they support the plan and are willing to look at more training.
"10.5 per cent of services we provided in 2011 were provided to clients of aboriginal origin. We're conscious of the fact how complex homelessness is. We fully admit we have a lot to learn, we can always learn more," Hamilton said.
The new plan aims to reduce the length of the average shelter stay and the decrease the number of aboriginal homeless by 2018.