Calgary

Calgary homeless shelters can't meet demand

Homeless people in Calgary are sleeping outdoors because of a bed shortage, say two area shelters. The shelters attribute the problem to people who move to the city for work, but can't find affordable housing.

Homeless people in Calgary are sleeping outdoors because of a bed shortage, say two area shelters. The shelters attribute the problem to people who move to the city for work, but can't find affordable housing.

Dermit Baldwin, executive director of the Calgary Drop-in Centre, said dozens of people had to sleep outside on Wednesday night in cold and wet conditions.

"We had 40 sleeping on the grass outside in front in the rain," said Baldwin. "We had them all on the parkway."

Diana Segboer, administrative director for Inn From the Cold, a shelter for families with children, attributes the bed shortage to an influx of people looking for work in the city.

"People are coming to Calgary to take advantage of the job market," said Segboer. "But there's no housing here for them once they arrive here. They can sure find a job, but they can't find anything in the market because the rent is absolutely crazy right now, and affordable housing has a long waiting list."

"We know that there are families camping,"Segboer said. "That's going to have to come to an end pretty soon, because it's going to get too cold."

Segboer said the province must build more affordable housing to solve the problem.

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