Calgary

Holiday concert planned as Calgary's DOAP Team faces funding shortfall

Performer Tom Jackson announced his plans for a holiday concert to support Calgary's cash-strapped Downtown Outreach Addictions Program.

'What the DOAP Team does is save lives,' Tom Jackson says about addictions outreach program

Tom Jackson, performer and DOAP Team volunteer, is planning to donate proceeds from his annual Huron Carol show to the group. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

The Calgary Alpha House Society and performer Tom Jackson announcing plans for a holiday season concert to help raise money for the society's Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership, also known as the DOAP Team. 

It says the program is facing a serious financial shortfall after it was affected by recent cuts to the Calgary Homeless Foundation, part of a temporary provincial budget in place until the government's first formal budget later this month. 

The society's executive director, Kathy Christiansen, says this all means uncertainty for the team as it faces a roughly $20,000 dollar per month funding shortfall after the cuts.

Calgary Alpha House Society executive director Kathy Christiansen says she's in talks with government officials about DOAP's funding problems. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

She adds it could get worse by spring if funding can't be restored or replaced.

"The police, emergency room doctors and other community agencies tells us that DOAP's work is invaluable," Christiansen said.

"We are meeting a need that no other community organization currently offers and we want to continue this program in the months and years to come."

They're looking for other sources of funding and are having ongoing discussions with government in hopes the issue can be resolved.

Christiansen says the team averages 57 transports per day as it addresses issues like addictions and homelessness.

The DOAP Team has been operating in Calgary since 2005. According to its website, the program aims to engage with people struggling with addictions or homelessness in an effort to help them access support services.

On Monday it was announced that performer Tom Jackson, who is also a DOAP Team volunteer, has organized a Huron Carole Benefit Concert to help raise money and awareness for the team.

"What the DOAP Team does is save lives," Jackson said.

Jackson also shared his experience working with the team and how it has changed his life, too.

"That's what happens in this van," Jackson said. "Miracles happen all the time. It's not just a transport to a shelter and new start."

The concert is set for Dec. 3 at Mount Royal University.

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