3Ch – Exploration #9 – Calgary Drop-In Centre

The information below was provided to us from the Calgary Drop-In Centre. Have a read about what and they do what they do!

Every person that walks through our doors is a unique individual with a powerful story to tell.

The reasons they come to us are all different. Many have never had a chance in life – bringing with them a history of neglect, abuse and isolation. Some have watched as their world crumbled to pieces before their eyes. Others are battling through the grips of addiction and/or the affliction of a mental health condition.

Sometimes all a person needs is a hot meal to get them through the day. Others might need a bed while they find a more permanent place to live. Many require more extensive services – counseling, medical care, help with accessing government services and finding income supports, or access to affordable housing.

Whatever our clients need, we are here to help them navigate the often complex path they’re on, with care and direction tailored to their needs.  

VISION

People aren’t born on the street, nor do lives have to end there. With help, the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre is where some lives begin.

PURPOSE

The Calgary Drop-In Centre exists to alleviate poverty.

We care for chronically homeless people with community supports, resources, and housing. We collaborate with stakeholders; we advocate; we lead.

PHILOSOPHY

To compassionately be ‘the voice’ for the marginalized, disenfranchised and homeless population of our city. Regardless of the circumstances leading to their current situation, to be of service, without judgment, and to fairly and appropriately provide programs and support that assists each individual in their efforts to move forward with their lives.

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What a great morning we had learning about the Calgary Drop-In Centre from Shaun Crawford. He definitely taught us a lot and gave us a lot to think about!

Shaun started by asking us who we thought the Drop-In Centre helps. We thought it was for people who were experiencing homelessness and people who don’t have money, food or water.

   

   

He also asked us what do people think about homeless people. Some of our answers were that they are sad, scary, dirty, ill, dangerous, have diseases and sleep in alleys. It was very interesting when Shaun showed us pictures of different people and asked us if we thought they were clients of the DI, employees or both.

We learned a new word: STEREOTYPES! When we think a certain way about someone based on an idea we have and without really knowing who they are. Shaun told us about several clients and what they’re passions and talents are. He also shared that he had once spent a night in a homeless shelter and that was how his passion to help others had started.

   

   

Shaun shared the following video with us:

We were able to see that the kindness went in a full loop back to the first person in the video! An important message: “If you build a world on kindness, you will change the world.”

Some facts we learned about the Drop-In Centre are:

  • all the clients volunteer there; 250 000 hours of volunteering!
  • there are 250 staff
  • the building opened in 2001, but the organization has been around since 1961
  • there is a science to kindness; when you are kind to someone else, you feel better too
  • homelessness won’t end at the shelter; it ends in the community
  • they have an average of 1200 people stay with them a day, and one of the sleeping areas is a big room with 225 beds
  • they have an art studio with supplies
  • the building was first used on September 11, 2001 to give people who were stranded at the Calgary International Airport a place to stay for a few days while they waited to be able to fly to their original destination
  • you can volunteer even if you’re a child; you just need an adult with you

The Calgary Drop-In Centre never turns anyone away. They will always try to help a person who needs it.

Earlier in the week we had chosen to make cards for clients at the Calgary Drop-In Centre to pass on some smiles and kindness to others. We love to make cards and we work very hard at them!

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Thank you to Shaun for helping us learn how important it is not to stereotype people and to help others when we can so that we can change the world.

  

Website:  https://www.calgarydropin.ca/

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