The dispute between two of Calgary's most prominent social agencies is heating up over questions of funding for emergency shelter beds.
Inn from the Cold has accused the Calgary Homeless Foundation of denying it crucial funding but the organization says it has given Inn from the Cold more than $1 million since last year.
"From April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, CHF funding to the Inn from the Cold consisted of $1.1-million to emergency shelter and over $650,000 for housing with support programs and prevention outreach," the organization said Monday in a press release.
"A portion of the prevention outreach funding was not used. Additional funding for housing with support programs has been offered in the current year."
- Click here to listen to The Homestretch's interview with Andrea Ranson with the Calgary Homeless Foundation.
Inn from the Cold says it is at capacity and is looking to increase its number of family shelter beds. Executive director Linda McLean says the shelter can't do that without the emergency funds it requested from CHF.
"They will not consider any funding to support an increase in family shelter beds here," she said.
Affordable housing and shelter beds
McLean says the foundation is committed to affordable housing rather than putting more money into shelters but, in the short term, it still needs to provide a safe place for families who might have found themselves out on the street.
"It really rests on the fact that CHF, in mandate and in practice, is committed to the 10-year plan to end homelessness, and inherent in that 10-year plan is a commitment to reduce emergency shelter beds in favour of a focus on affordable housing," she said.
The shelter says there are more families than ever needing a place to sleep.
"We want to bring the message to the public because, once again, we are facing a night where we have maxed out all of our capacity," McLean said.
The CHF says it provides funding for six agencies that provide shelter beds for families, which translates to space for roughly 34 families in emergency shelters across the city.
They say they also provide roughly $750,000 in funding to help prevent families from becoming homeless.
The organization said in a statement Monday it is committed to working with Inn from the Cold to find long-term housing solutions for families at risk of becoming homeless.