Fewer people using city’s homeless shelters - Metro US

Fewer people using city’s homeless shelters

An increased vacancy rate in Calgary doesn’t just have landlords down — it has numbers down at one homeless shelter, too.

The 2010 Civic Census revealed there were almost 4,000 more vacant housing units this April compared to last.

The vacancy rate is now 3.93 per cent.

According to Louise Gallagher at Calgary Drop-in and Rehab Centre, a softened housing market has impacted shelter space.

“We have seen a decrease in the numbers that we serve. It isn’t as busy,” she said.

“It’s easier for our clients to get a place to rent. Rental costs have gone down and landlords aren’t as selective. They are more willing to give (our clients) a chance.”

Numbers are also going down at the Mustard Seed, according to Courtney Fliss.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen about 35 fewer guests on average staying each night,” Fliss said.

Fliss, however, attributes this decrease to their AfterCare Program.

The program helps guests find safe, affordable housing and equips them to thrive on their own.

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