Survey finds more homeless people in Calgary
Calgary's homeless population has reached 3,436 people, according to a survey released Wednesday.
A census taken by the City of Calgary in May found the homeless population has increased by 32 per cent from the last count two years ago.
Four out of five of the people counted were staying in facilities such as shelters.
"The face of homelessness is changing and everyone has to be made aware of that," said Diana Segboer, executive director of Inn from the Cold, which offers shelter to homeless families through three city churches.
"It's not primarily the addict or the person who doesn't want to work," Segboer said. "It's children. It's moms and dads and 25-year-olds."
She said thevast majority of her clients are the working poor.
Compounding the problem are swiftly rising house prices and a falling rental vacancy rate.
Aflood of people moving to the city to take advantage of a booming economy has dropped the vacancy rate to less than 1.6 per cent.
Alderman Bob Hawkesworth said he's calling on the province to show leadership and set up a task force to look at ways to solve homelessness.
The City of Calgary wants to build 600 affordable housing units over the next three years, a project that will require help from the province, the federal government and builders.
With files from the Canadian Press